World Hypertension Month. LHS Launches Blood Pressure Testing Across Outlets To Address Rising Hypertension Concern


Laikipia Health Service has commenced free blood pressure tests for clients in all of its outlets across the county, as it steps up efforts to reverse the rising burden of the condition in the communities.


The development comes in the wake of mounting public health concerns owing to the steep rise in hypertension in Laikipia, and the need to contain the situation early enough. This will see scores of clients go through tests, education, and monitoring of persons whose cases need follow-ups.


May is World Hypertension Month and is dedicated to raising the awareness of the need for regular checkups to enable early diagnosis which is key to the success of the treatment plans initiated. The step is in line with the global blood pressure day theme this year - measure your blood pressure accurately, control it, and live longer.


Latest statistics paint a grim picture of the rise of hypertension in the county. For instance, the number of hypertensive patients rose from about 20,600 in 2017 to over 38,000 in 2019, according to Laikipia County Statistical Abstract 2020.


Far from the widespread public notions, hypertension is not a preserve for the old. Healthcare providers are now concerned as the condition finds its way into the younger population, mainly due to unhealthy lifestyles and even poor mental health.


Hypertension is a silent killer. Globally, adults with hypertension are unaware of their condition, with less than 42 percent being diagnosed and treated.


Having no major symptoms at the early stages, the condition only manifests when damage to critical organs and functions has been destroyed. Damage to the kidney is one of the life-threatening complications, with expensive dialysis or even transplant to save a life. High blood pressure could strain liver functions as well, which may in turn affect insulin production that leads to diabetes.


The condition significantly raises the risks of heart, brain, and eye problems.


In Kenya, a quarter of people between the ages of 18-19 are estimated to be hypertensive, with urban women being the most affected in this category. This is mostly compounded by unhealthy lifestyles in diet, alcoholism, poor mental health, and lack of exercise.


The entry of mass blood pressure monitoring is a boost to the outcomes of the Medical Outpatient Clinics, one of the most successful packages under the new plan, healthcare providers take periodic monitoring to the clients at the lowest health outlets to cut the cost of access for the clients.

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