Be wary of High blood pressure

Miinistry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) Deputy Permanent secretary Dr Norbert Forster has revealed that about 4580 patients were admitted with High blood pressure in State Hospitals last year.
Khomas region has the highest admission of 732 patients followed by Oshikoto region with 537 admissions.
According to Forster social and economic problems are among the highest causes of the disease.
 “This has an adverse impact on behavioural risk factors and in this way influence the development of hypertension. For example, unemployment or fear of unemployment may have an impact on stress levels that in turn influence high blood pressure,” he said.
Other factors include one’s living and working conditions which can delay timely detection and treatment amongst others.
“The risk of hypertension increases with age due to the stiffening of blood vessels. However, ageing of blood vessels can be slowed through healthy living, including healthy eating and reducing the salt intake in the diet,”
Statistics also show that two to three men out of ten and five out of ten women in Namibia do not  know  that they have high blood pressure.
Speaking at the launch of the World Hypertension, Prosperity Health Group Chief Executive Officer Bertrus Struwig said while hypertension cases are on the increase in the country, they remain one of the modern conditions that are ignored.
According to him some people may not know that they have hypertension until they have trouble with their heart, brain or kidneys.
 “The medical practitioners have got the major role to change people’s attitude towards the disease. As private sector, it is our duty to partner with the government in disseminating such information and help in the fight against it,” Struwig said.
The sentiments were also echoed by Norvatis Pharmaceuticals Manager Strategic Marketing Herman Maritz saying “The launch of this campaign will help collect a national database to monitor the progress of hypertension and also be able to control it, but such efforts are only possible through concerted efforts.”
According to him, Hypertension has caused 9.4million deaths worldwide in 2010 and it is expected to double in Africa by 2030.
The World Hypertension day and the five year strategic activity plan on cardiovascular diseases were launched to reduce deaths from heart attacks, stroke and kidney diseases and other heart diseases.