Today, Monday May 17 is World Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) Day. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness and promote prevention, detection and control of hypertension. The theme for this year is “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer” (= “Measure your blood pressure accurately, monitor it and live longer”), aimed at raising awareness about accurate blood pressure measurement methods and keeping blood pressure readings.
In general people in Suriname do not know what their blood pressure value is, because it is not measured regularly. It is very important to detect early when the blood pressure reading is low or high, as it can contribute to various health problems such as stroke, heart attacks, kidney disease, blindness, dementia and finally death.
High blood pressure is the greatest risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in Suriname. The risk is increased by smoking, excessive use of alcohol, an unhealthy diet (lots of sugar, salt and fat products, little fruit and vegetables) and insufficient exercise. The combination of high blood pressure with diabetes (diabetes) and high cholesterol can also be fatal.
Many people do not know when they have high blood pressure because there are minimal symptoms and only discover it after a heart attack or stroke. Hypertension is therefore also called the ‘silent killer’. It is extremely important that people regularly measure and monitor their blood pressure so that they are informed and can receive timely treatment.
Hypertension in relation to COVID-19
People -> 60 years – and people who already have a condition (including high blood pressure) are more susceptible to severe symptoms of Covid-19. There is also a higher death rate from Covid-19 in people with high blood pressure.
Tips for people with high blood pressure during the Covid-19 pandemic:
• Get vaccinated.
• Persons taking blood pressure medications are encouraged to continue to take them as prescribed and to measure their blood pressure at home if possible. It may go a little lower or higher than normal, but don’t change your treatment without talking to your doctor first.
• Drink enough. Many people, especially the elderly, drink too little water. It is recommended that you create a schedule that can help you drink water regularly throughout the day.
• Eat healthy. Try to use as much fresh fruit and vegetables as possible, less fat, salt and sugar.
• Physical activity: As many will spend more time at home, physical activity will also decrease. It is recommended to find out what can be done at home, such as running around in the yard, skipping rope, but also intensive walking, raking or sweeping.
• Keep at least three feet away from people, especially who are coughing, have a cold, or have the flu.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water.
• Keep yourself mentally healthy. Try to do as many things as possible that allow you to relax, avoid negative or strenuous messages and programs.
In connection with World Hypertension Day, the blood pressure of every BOG visitor is measured on Monday before they are vaccinated with the covid vaccine. If they have not yet been vaccinated, they can still do so.
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