[Answered] India’s Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI) is a much-needed initiative to control a serious, and growing, health issue in India. Discuss

Introduction: contextual introduction.
Body: Write in brief about the need of Hypertension Control Initiative and explain how it will be helpful in controlling this serious health issue in India.
Conclusion: Give a way forward.

Hypertension is defined as abnormally high blood pressure and high psychological stress. The patients suffering from this disorder will have their blood pressure reading greater than 140/90 mm. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), State Governments and WHO launched India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI), a five-year initiative to monitor and treat hypertension.

Need of India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI):

  • Leading cause of mortality and morbidity: Hypertension, known as the silent killer, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases, which include heart attacks and stroke, are responsible for one-third of total deaths in India.
  • Large burden: According to NFHS, there are more than 20 crore adults with hypertension in India and less than half of them are aware of their hypertension status. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this might rise to around 1.57 billion by the year 2025.
  • Hypertension control can save most lives: Managing blood pressure for 2.5 crore individuals can prevent up to five lakh deaths due to cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years.
  • Hypertension control is simple, affordable and requires only a well-functioning BP measuring device.

How this initiative is helpful?

  • The key features of the Initiative include treatment protocols that simplify quality patient care in primary care facilities.
  • There is provision of adequate supply of quality medicines and blood pressure monitors.
  • It provides comprehensive training for healthcare workers at all levels and team-based care for counselling and follow up of the patients.
  • This initiative creates patient-centered services to improve patient support and to reduce reliance on bigger hospitals and increase in the utilization of health and wellness centers and primary health centers.
  • It provides for regular monitoring of health facilities and prompt feedback to program managers to bridge gaps if any in a timely manner.

There is a need to raise public awareness about hypertension and improve hypertension control under the supervision of physicians. Telemonitoring and home or community-based self-care are encouraged to improve blood pressure control. Intervention for increased screening coverage is the need of the hour.

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