Experts warned about the issue as people with high blood pressure are more likely to get a severe form of COVID-19, and also the death rate is high among these populations. The discussion about this issue had been taken place in a webinar organized to observe the 72nd Foundation Day of the Family Planning Association of India (FPA India).
“Almost one in five women aged 15-49 years in India is not diagnosed with hypertension with implications for personal and reproductive health. We are working closely with the Punjab government in controlling this menace through politico-bureaucratic and media advocacy, capacity building of health professionals, and generating evidence for policy and practice,” said Dr. Sonu Goel, Professor, Department of Community Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh.
Vandana Shah, regional director of the Global Health Advocacy Incubator, highlighted that a high prevalence of hypertension pays a heavy price on public health, especially during pandemics.
“India is going through an epidemiological transition. We must act now. Responding to this crisis, we at FPA India have decided to bring decades of experience in strengthening health systems to work on creating more opportunities for identifying care gaps, bringing about inter-sectoral collaboration, and pooling resources so that no opportunity is missed to screen, treat and control hypertension, across all ge groups, geographies, and socio-economic strata,” explained Kalpana Apte, Secretary-General, FPAI.
In the event, a nationwide campaign called ‘Project Prachi – Prioritizing Advocacy for Control of Hypertension in India’ was also launched to accelerate the control and management of hypertension. The campaign is supported by the Global Health Advocacy Incubator.