UAE launches nationwide two-month campaign to screen for hypertension

UAE— The UAE is taking a proactive stance on public health by offering free blood pressure screenings to 50,000 people in an ambitious two-month initiative.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention, in collaboration with the International Society of Hypertension, has launched the National Campaign for Early Detection of Hypertension in Dubai.

Throughout the months of May and June, health checks will be conducted at various locations across the country with the support of public and private healthcare organizations, universities, Life Pharmacy, the Emirates Cardiac Society, and other participating entities.

The primary objective of this campaign is to raise awareness about the significance of regular blood pressure monitoring, the adoption of healthy lifestyles, and the understanding of the causes and effects of hypertension.

Hypertension, commonly known as high or raised blood pressure, is a condition characterized by persistently elevated pressure in the blood vessels.

It poses a significant risk of heart, brain, and kidney diseases and is a major contributor to premature deaths worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization, over one billion people globally are affected by hypertension.

Dr. Hussain Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, emphasizes the UAE’s commitment to reducing high blood pressure levels by 30 percent by 2030.

He emphasizes the importance of prioritizing prevention measures over treatment and implementing effective health programs to achieve this goal.

Since its initial launch in 2017, followed by subsequent campaigns in 2018 and 2019, the national campaign has witnessed remarkable success through collaboration between government health agencies and the private health sector.

These achievements have positioned the UAE in first place among 89 participating countries.

Hypertension often goes unnoticed, as regular blood pressure checks are not commonly performed, leading to increased risks for affected individuals.

People with underlying health conditions such as obesity and diabetes, which are relatively prevalent in the Emirates, are particularly susceptible to developing hypertension.

The British Heart Foundation states that while the precise cause of high blood pressure is not always clear, most cases are attributed to diet, lifestyle, or underlying medical conditions.

In a 2019 household health survey conducted in Dubai, 38 percent of men and 16 percent of women were found to have hypertension.

Additionally, 29.8 percent of participants showed early markers of the condition, known as pre-hypertension, as identified by healthcare professionals.

Dr. Buthaina bin Balila, Head of the Non-Communicable Disease Department at the Health Ministry, explains that the campaign will collect clinical information, demographic data, and blood pressure measurements from participants.

This data will provide a comprehensive understanding of the risks associated with high blood pressure and support further initiatives to combat this silent health threat in the UAE.

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