Dubai: Marking World Hypertension Day, UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP), organised a scientific symposium to discuss the latest developments regarding vascular diseases in the UAE. Themed “Measure your blood pressure, control it, live longer”, the symposium commemoarated the international day by raising additonal awareness to detect, control and prevent hypertension or high blood pressure. 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 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.
Strategic health indicators
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 programmess and initiatives to reduce the prevalence of hypertension, and that 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.
“The ministry is committed to updating scientific evidence periodically based on the latest global practices, 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.
Dr bin Belaila revealed that around 28.8 per cent 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 per cent by 2025 through intensifying awareness campaigns and promoting early detection via periodic examination services.
She stressed that MoHAP will 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 enact an appropriate application policy.
Early detection of hypertension
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.