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Govt’s BP control initiative to be expanded to 100 districts

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With an aim to control diabetes and other related diseases taking toll on the health of masses, the Government on Wednesday announced expansion of its India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI) across country.

A plan is afoot to expand IHIC initiative to 100 districts covering all the states so that a large population could avail quality treatment for hypertension, a disease which makes people vulnerable to heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.

As per the official data, uncontrolled high blood pressure or hypertension, which leads to a sudden heart attack at times, is among leading causes for death in the country.

The data says that one in four adults have high blood pressure in India. Among people with high blood pressure, only half have been diagnosed and only 1 in 10 have blood pressure under control. As a result, a large number of people suffer heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure while in the productive years of life, a health ministry official said.

IHCI’s expansion is being done by the Indian Council of Medical Research in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and the Health Ministry.

Launched in November 2017, IHCI has enrolled more than three lakh patients with high blood pressure in government health facilities in 25 selected districts in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, and Maharashtra.

“Now IHCI will expand to 100 districts across India covering all the states. The project will accelerate the implementation of quality hypertension treatment for over 15 crore people over the next four years and prevent deaths from heart attack, stroke and kidney failure,” the official said.

Also read: ‘High BP makes you prone to chronic kidney disease’

IHCI is a five-year initiative which aims to accelerate India’s efforts to check non-communicable disease (NCT) target by strengthening hypertension management and control using evidence-based strategies.

“Hypertension is a silent killer. Treatment of hypertension is simple, effective, easily available and needs to be continued lifelong. The WHO has prioritized Universal Health Coverage, and the India Hypertension Control Initiative serves as an excellent example of a free programme that improves the health of the Indian people,” said Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India.

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