The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has joined the world in celebrating the World Hypertension Day, by organising a scientific symposium discussing the latest developments regarding vascular diseases in the UAE.
Themed “Measure your blood pressure, control it, live longer”, the international occasion is observed every year to raise awareness and promote hypertension prevention, detection and control.
Inaugurated by Dr. Nada Hasan Al Marzouqi, Director of Public Health and Prevention Department, the one-day event was attended by Dr. Buthaina Ben Belila, Head of the Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health Department, and several subject-matter experts and specialist doctors.
The one-day gathering discussed several health topics including the latest developments concerning vascular diseases in the UAE, the fourth edition of the National Guideline for Hypertension as well as the national indicators related to the disease, and the challenges facing the diagnosis and management of hypertension; in addition to ways to prevent cardiovascular disease. A simulation technology was used also during the event to display disease cases.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, stressed that the UAE is considered among the top countries worldwide in launching major programmes and initiatives to reduce the prevalence of hypertension, and that the high blood pressure has already been included in the strategic health indicators and within the National Strategy for Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases to enhance prevention and control of the disease following international best practices and based on scientific research and evidence.
Stressing the importance of the symposium, Dr. Nada Al Marzouqi, said that the event has been fruitful and provided an opportunity to share expertise and experiences, review the latest developments and best international practices in the field of combating hypertension and developing the skills of health workers.
“The ministry is committed to updating the scientific evidence periodically based on the latest global practices and evidence, keeping in mind that the fourth updated version of the hypertension guide was launched in 2019, to help upgrade the skills of health care cadres, guide community members to prevent it, highlight the importance of adhering to treatment plans, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, encouraging regular physical activity, eating healthy food, reducing salt consumption and quitting smoking,” Al Marzouqi said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Buthina bin Belaila revealed that around 28.8 percent of adults in the UAE have high blood pressure, according to the national health survey conducted by the Ministry between 2017-2018. Therefore, the ministry mapped out a national plan, in cooperation with its key partners, to reduce hypertension prevalence to 21.8 percent by 2025 through intensifying awareness campaigns and promoting early detection via periodic examination services.
She stressed that MoHAP will periodically follow up on the implementation of hypertension guidelines and work with the competent authorities to issue legislation to reduce salt and saturated fat consumption and enacting an appropriate application policy.
The Ministry of Health had launched earlier a national campaign to detect blood pressure in cooperation with Servier and Life Pharmacies Group.
The campaign aimed to highlight the importance of early detection of high blood pressure and the need to conduct comprehensive periodic tests where all segments of society were allowed to conduct a free blood pressure test by visiting any of the Life pharmacies taking part in the campaign across all emirates.