Nearly 23% urban population of the four city corporations - Narayanganj, Cumilla, Mymensingh and Rangpur - are suffering from hypertension, a common risk factor amongst city dwellers that leads to several life-threatening complications.
At the same time, 14% of the people are also at higher risk of being hypertensive, according to the findings of the study titled "Hypertension and Obesity Load in Bangladesh: How Large is the Iceberg?", reads a press release.
The study was conducted under the "Strengthening Urban Public Health System Project" implemented by Save the Children in Bangladesh and South Asia Field Epidemiology and Technology Network (Safetynet), Bangladesh with assistance from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC). A total of 48,644 participants were screened to measure their blood pressure, height, and weight to calculate hypertension status and BMI status for the study.
The findings were unveiled during a scientific seminar at a city hotel on Thursday (1 September).
As per the study findings, the prevalence of hypertension is higher among men (24%) than women (22%). Among the campaign participants, the prevalence of obesity is 8%, while almost 28% of participants are overweight (i.e. at high risk of being obese). Prevalence of Obesity was higher for female participants (10%) compared to male participants (7%).
After dissemination of the study findings, a certificate awarding ceremony was held marking the successful completion of a one-year long "The Applied Epidemiology and Public Health Management Fellowship Course." A total of 26 participants - 11 Health Officers of 12 City Corporations and 15 Public Health Epidemiologists - appointed by Save the Children in all city corporations-took part in the rigorous training.
The Strengthening Urban Public Health System Project is being implemented in 12 city corporations in the country with an aim to enhance the capacity of the city corporation health force so that they can make strong public health decisions and prioritize public health issues. Through this project, a new cadre of "Public Health Epidemiologists' has also been introduced into the city corporation health department as the first step in addressing an unmet public health leadership need.
In addition to hypertension and obesity screening, the project also carried out public health programs addressing key public health issues like Malnutrition, Dengue Awareness, Waste Segregation, and eternal, New-born and Child Health activities etc. It also conducted multiple capacity strengthening sessions engaging all 12 city corporation health workforce on evidence-based decision-making on public approach and crisis communications during public health emergencies.