Simply building hospitals without emphasising prevention mechanisms is not enough to safeguard Bangladeshis from the clutch of non-communicable diseases like hypertension, Abdul Malik, founder and president of the National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh (NHFB) said on Wednesday.
He made the remarks during a meet the press programme marking the World Hypertension Day at a hotel in Dhaka. The Noncommunicable Disease Control (NCDC) Program of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress), and NHFB jointly organised the event.
Speaking to journalists, NCDC officials said the number of hypertension patients in the country is increasing as there are no symptoms to detect the disease.
They said the NCDC Program has been running "Hypertension Detection, Treatment, and Follow-up" activity since 2018 by establishing NCD corners at various government hospitals to provide free healthcare services to hypertensive patients. The DGHS has undertaken plans to increase the number of NCD corners all across the country to 200.
Professor Dr Robed Amin, director of the NCDC Programme, said, "The prevalence of hypertension is rising exponentially. Combating this crisis requires concerted efforts from the health sector, along with other bodies of the government, civil society organisations, mass media and all others."
Speakers at the programme urged civil society organisations, mass media, and people of all walks of life to work in a collaborative way alongside the government to reduce the exponential prevalence and spread of hypertension.
According to a recent study, one in five Bangladeshi adults suffers from hypertension, also dubbed as "silent killer", which increases the risks of various non-communicable diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases.
Untreated hypertension can lead to chest pain or angina, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and even stroke. In addition, hypertension can cause kidney damage.
This year's World Hypertension Day was observed with "Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer" as the theme.