INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW
Hypertension, also known as high or raised blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure. Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body in the vessels. Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the vessels. Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart. The higher the pressure the harder the heart has to pump.40%of adults aged 25 and over had raised blood pressure in 2008.
Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. You can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your heart continues and can be detected. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure generally develops over many years, and it affects nearly everyone eventually. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it.
The quickening pace of change and adoption of western lifestyles by people in developing countries has led to a sharp rise in the incidence of hypertension and Cameroon is one of such countries.
- Knowing if one is at risk of hypertension can help that individual from developing the diseases and other complications. Which is why we took decided to carry out this activity, to screen individuals and educate them on how to prevent and manage the disease.
IHO coordinated a health campaign in collaboration with the health team of the St. Peter and Paul Parish Buea, at the parish premises. The activity ran from 8:00am to 12:00 noon.
During this activity, we tested the members of the church and gave them basic education on ways in which the disease can develop, its consequences and how it can be prevented and controlled.
Results were given to those who carried out the tests and medical advice was given on a person to person basis with respect to their results.
- Inadequate time to screened members of the church.
- Lack of collaboration from some members of the church.
- Limited medical personnel.
We therefore recommend that more of such programs should be encouraged and promoted by the government, by either providing funding or medical assistance when and where needed.
FOLLOW UP ACTION PLAN
For those whose blood pressures were elevated and were provided medical advice, their blood pressure will be taken a month after the initial test to see if they adhere to the advice and if the modifications made in their daily lifestyle had an influence on their blood pressures.
Hypertension can easily be prevented if individuals know their blood pressures earlier and take necessary measures to prevent the disease from escalating.
Health team from the St. Peter and Paul’s Parish