The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has said that the World Hypertension Day, observed on 17th May every year, is an important occasion to ramp up global efforts to increase high blood pressure awareness around the world regarding its symptoms and the importance of prevention and early detection to curb the complications and hazards of high blood pressure, which often referred to as "the silent killer".
Celebrating the World Hypertension Day under the theme "Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer", MoHAP said that the UAE is considered a world leader in providing outstanding health services to high blood pressure (hypertension) patients, by shifting focus from treatment to prevention and listing the blood pressure disease in the health indicators of the National Agenda 2021 and the National Strategy for Combating Non-Communicable Diseases.
As part of its plan, implemented over the past three years, to provide world-class and scientific evidence-based healthcare services, MoHAP has opened non-communicable disease clinics to help hypertension patients know and control their disease, resulting in raising the blood pressure control rate to 78 percent.
In 2019, MoHAP has launched the 4th updated version of the Hypertension Guideline to build the capacity of healthcare providers and deliver the best preventive and therapeutic services for patients with hypertension. The guideline includes health tips for patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, reduce salt intake, and quit smoking.
According to MoHAP's National Health Survey 2017-2018, the high blood pressure rate was 28,8 percent. In the meantime, the Ministry, in partnership with the concerned parties, has developed a national plan to reduce this rate to 21.8 percent by 2025, by intensifying outreach campaigns, encouraging community members to conduct regular screening, and working with competent authorities to enact legislation to reduce the consumption of salt and saturated fat.
In 2018 and 2019, MoHAP, together with its strategic partners and the Heart Association, launched a blood pressure early screening drive as part of a global campaign, during which 32,500 adults, among them 20 percent with high blood pressure disease, were examined, which led the UAE to come first globally in blood pressure screening for adults and 9th globally for all age groups.