Despite high awareness among Filipinos about hypertension and its complications, high blood pressure remains a leading cause of death locally, earning it the moniker “public enemy number 1.”
About 120,000 Filipinos die annually, directly and indirectly, due to hypertension-related complications. The data from May Measurement Month 2017 placed the hypertension prevalence rate in the country at 34 percent.
In a bid to combat the steady increase in the number of hypertension cases in the country, Omron Healthcare Philippines joins the Philippine Society of Hypertension (PSH), the Philippine Heart Association (PHA), and other health partners in campaigning for Home Blood Pressure Monitoring (HBPM) as a key mitigation activity against hypertension and its complications.
“Hypertension is a risk factor of heart and cardiovascular diseases. People of all age groups need to be made aware of hypertension dangers and its prevention, among others. Omron Healthcare Philippines continues to work diligently with various health organizations to help address the country’s worsening hypertension problem by offering reliable and easy-to-use healthcare equipment that help users monitor their health better,” said Omron Healthcare regional head Yoshiaki Nishiyabu.
Nishiyabu added, “We are glad that we get to campaign for HBPM alongside PSH and PHA. We hope that together with our global Generation Zero campaign, which aims to eliminate cardiac events, we can look forward to a healthier future for everyone.”
With hypertension being asymptomatic, many are not aware that they have hypertension. It is often called the “silent killer” and one effective way to detect it early is through daily self-monitoring of blood pressure at home.
Performing self-monitoring within the comfort of one’s home tremendously helps patients feel more relaxed as they are surrounded by familiar environment, thus leading to more accurate readings. Moreover, home blood pressure monitoring allows detection of irregularity in blood pressure readings through efficient data tracking.
The International Society of Hypertension (ISH) stresses the importance of regular screening to prevent the complications caused by hypertension. To further this cause, ISH launched the May Measurement Month (MMM) initiative.
“May Measurement Month puts the spotlight on increasing access to blood pressure screening as potentially the most effective way to reduce hypertension’s adverse effect on health,” says ISH president Alta E. Schutte.
Locally, PSH leads the rollout of the campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the risks and issues posed by hypertension. The Philippines ranked first in terms of total screened individuals when the campaign was launched in the country in May 2017, with a total of 272,000 individuals screened or 22 percent of the global pooled data of 1.2 million for that year.
“We aim to increase BP awareness to 80 percent, treatment rate to 60 percent, and a control rate of 30 percent by 2022. At such rates, we are optimistic that we can reduce BP-related deaths by 25 percent and save about 30,000 Filipinos yearly,” notes PSH president Dr. Leilani B. Mercado-Asis.
This year, 20 government and non-government agencies will carry out the nationwide BP screening and counselling campaign. Dr. Alejandro F. Diaz, country lead of MMM 2019, is fervent on screening 300,000 Filipinos, with Omron Healthcare Philippines as its official equipment partner. The Omron digital BP monitoring devices are the only ones in the country to be clinically validated by PSH for accuracy and precision.
Since its start in 2017, Omron Healthcare Philippines has donated a total of 4,500 digital BP monitoring devices, measuring the blood pressure of more than 400,000 Filipinos. In the 2019 rollout of MMM, the company is donating 1,000 state-of-the-art digital blood pressure monitoring devices.
For more information on May Measurement Month, visit www.maymeasure.com.
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