Hypertension is a rising health challenge in the world and poses a tremendous public health burden. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1.13 billion people globally have hypertension. The majority of those with this condition are living in low and middle-income countries.
People living with such condition may suffer cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure if it is not treated properly. These conditions usually affect people over the age of 40. The rate of hypertension in Africa keeps surging due to over-indulgence in bad diets, rapid urbanization, and lack of exercise.
A recent study revealed that the incidence of hypertension in low and middle-income countries will rise to over 75% by the year 2025. Some researchers have suggested that an increase in the rate of hypertension balls down to ignorance. Most people who suffer from hypertension do not know they are suffering from the condition. Therefore, they do not seek treatment.
While high blood pressure can be easily detected by routine measurement of blood pressure, studies have shown that several people lack knowledge about their condition. Some of the people aware of their condition are unable to control it due to a lack of effective treatment.
A recent study examined the high prevalence, low awareness, and low control of high blood pressure in sub-Saharan Africa. Half of the people living with hypertension are aware of the condition. This indicates a high rate of undiagnosed and uncontrolled high blood pressure in this region.
According to a study conducted by Lionel H. Opie and Yackoob K. Seedat, “Out of the approximately 650 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, around 10 to 20 million may have hypertension.” Non-communicable diseases, such as hypertension, must be prioritized and managed. This will reduce the surge in the condition on the African continent.
To control this looming epidemic that is a major cause of premature death worldwide, awareness must be created to educate people on the importance of routinely measuring their blood pressures. Governments must also provide infrastructural facilities and better access to care.
People should adopt lifestyle changes by reducing salt intake, quitting smoking, reducing the consumption of alcohol, exercising often, and consuming at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day, and a host of others.