Here, Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW), underlined the various aspects of the non-communicable diseases like prevention, detection and management. She stated that creating awareness about NCDs is vital as it is a silent disease. The Health Secretary further said that there is urgent need to raise awareness about NCDs amongst families regarding packaged food and processed foods with excessive salt and trans-fat. She also highlighted the need for incorporating yoga in one’s life for prevention and management of hypertension.
Further, Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary, DHR and DG, ICMR highlighted the importance of initiating and managing treatment for hypertension. She emphasised on the need for public education programme on nutrition and training of frontline healthcare workers regarding management of hypertension. She stated that the risk factors have to be managed at a very young age and we need to look into behavioural issues related to food intake, especially salt.
Building on Henk Bekedam, WHO India Representative, highlighted the importance of awareness and detection of hypertension.
The IHMI is focused on five essential components of scalable treatment of hypertension. It will support the adoption of standardised simplified treatment plans for managing high blood pressure, ensure the regular and uninterrupted supply of quality-assured medications, task sharing so health workers who are accessible to patients can distribute medications already prescribed by the medical officer, and patient-centered services that reduce the barriers to treatment adherence. Data on hypertension will be improved through streamlined monitoring systems, and the lessons learned and practice-based evidence will inform further interventions to improve cardiovascular care. IHMI will be progressively rolled out in 25 districts in the first two years across districts selected by the Health Ministry for expansion of active screening and intensification of treatment activities for hypertension.Also present at the event were Manoj Jhalani (AS&MD, NHM), BD Athani (Special DGHS) and Pawan Aggarwal, CEO, FSSAI and Alka Aggarwal Singh, Country Director, Vital Strategies along with the other senior officers of the Ministry and representatives of international development organisations.