World marks Hypertension day as Govt urges Kenyans to eat well to avoid heart disease


Nairobi, KENYA: The government has urged Kenyans to avoid sedentary lifestyles as a way of avoiding hypertension.

During the World Hypertension Day that took place at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on Wednesday, Dr. Pacifica Onyancha from the Ministry of Health said that taking plenty of water and including plenty of fruits and vegetables would help one live a healthy lifestyle.

“Prevention is key because treatment could be expensive. Exercise, get plenty of sunshine and enough rest to ward off this Non Communicable Disease,” Dr. Pacifica advised.

During the commemoration that takes place every 17th May, cardiologist Prof. Elijah Ogolla said the culture of consuming junk food leads to increase in cases of heart disease.

“This is caused by high salt and fat intake and excluding vegetables from one’s meal. A ban on smoking should suffice since it’s a cause of heart disease.13 per cent of our population smokes and those figures are
disheartening,” he lamented.

In a statement Dr. Joseph Kibachio, Head of Non Communicable Diseases at the Ministry of Health said it is worrying that more than half of Kenyans have never had their blood pressure checked.

“Only by having your blood pressure checked regularly can you avoid developing serious problems in the future. We need to take urgent action to raise awareness of the risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease if we are to address this serious health threat,” Dr. Kibachio continued.

Dr. Pacifica added that the Ministry continues to conduct screenings in various counties at health facilities throughout May as part of the Pima Pressure campaign; a move in line with this year’s theme in providing
awareness for individuals to get checked.

“Hypertension is a growing concern worldwide and it is one of the contributors to premature death. Estimates according to the World Health Organization WHO is that out of 10 persons worldwide 3 are living with high blood pressure,” Dr. Pacifica concluded.