For decades, we have been battling a condition known to medical practitioners as the “silent killer”; a condition that contributes to the burden of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure and premature mortality and disability. This is the condition of hypertension.
Hypertension rarely causes symptoms in the early stages and many people go undiagnosed. Those who are diagnosed may not have access to treatment and may not be able to successfully control their illness over the long term. There are significant health and economic gains attached to early detection, adequate treatment and good control of hypertension.
Addressing behavioural risk factors, e.g. unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol and physical inactivity, can prevent hypertension.
The major problem in achieving better control of hypertension in a community is based on the fact that hypertension is a silent asymptomatic disease. Ignorance of the general population as to the nature of elevated blood pressure, its morbid effects and the methods of maintaining its control is widespread and contributes to the large percentage of undetected and untreated hypertensive subjects in a community.
The series of blood pressure taking by the group during the community exposure has scaled out that majority of the people have high blood pressure (no available data as of the moment). It was also noted that the people are unaware of the health consequences of hypertension if not controlled. There is a deficit in knowledge regarding the risk factors, diseases process and progression of hypertension. In addition, the lack of sports and exercises in the lifestyle of the community people seems to be the top contributing factor to the problem.
The community health plan is divided into three phases. For an introductory intervention or the pre operational phase, it consists of assessing and obtaining of primary data to properly plan out the CHP. It would also include planning of activities that will help the community be aware of the problem. Involving the community people in our plans and identifying their own responsibilities is paramount in gaining their outmost participation. We can make this possible by creating a core group to be called as “Bantay BP officers” formed by members who are residents of Manguiles. In addition, initiating and improving the case finding scheme is essential as well to be able to identify the target population for this health problem.
The second phase is the operational phase. Increasing the community’s knowledge regarding the risks, early detection, and prevention of hypertension is one of the primary concerns in this phase. Conducting lectures may be overrated but is still considered as one of the effective methods on educating the people about hypertension as a whole. This method is enhanced by distributing pamphlets for them to keep as a guide on addressing the health concerns.
To be able to sustain our case finding scheme even in our absence, hands-on skills training of the BHW and Team HALTapresyon will be conducted. Developing healthy habits that will stick in their lifestyle is what we opt to instill in each individual. Introducing of alternatives to already existing bad habits like smoking, excessive intake of salty foods and alcohol consumption and emphasizing the importance of health-seeking behaviours will have a long term impact on the lives of individuals.
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