This year’s World Health Day on 7 April was focused on creating awareness about high blood pressure at the global level. High blood pressure or Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart diseases, strokes and kidney failure, killing about 9 million people every year. To commemorate this important day, the Department of Health of the Central Tibetan Administration, Delek Hospital, and Men-Tsee-Khang jointly organised a blood pressure awareness and check-up camp at Mcleodganj, Dharamsala. Additionally, the Department of Health also published a poster and brochure on “high blood pressure” to mark this occasion.
Five staff of Department of Health including two nurses, three nurses from Delek Hospital and three doctors from Men-Tsee-Khang facilitated this event. The Health Education section in the Public Health Division of Department of Health planned and coordinated this event. It was aimed to provide convenient access to blood pressure check-up for the local people and to emphasise the significance of knowing about one’s blood pressure.
The main activities of this event include blood pressure check-up, informing each participant clearly about their blood pressure level, explaining about precautions like eating less salt, maintaining regular body weight, having a well balanced diet, avoiding smoking and alcohol. Additionally, appropriate individual guidance was provided regarding prevention and further clinical follow up based on the screening results. A total of about 348 people took part in this blood pressure camp out of which 58.6% were males and 41.4% were females. The participants include 70% Tibetans, 29% Indians, and 1% of western tourists.
“Findings from community based participatory health research reveal that health campaigns are significantly more effective in bringing about positive health behavioural changes at the community level when a clear health message is conveyed to a target audience by all the relevant stakeholders jointly. Therefore, this joint effort was planned keeping such a vision in mind. We are also positive that the local public who participated in this camp will share their personal experiences and diffuse the blood pressure related preventive information to other people in their locality,” said Department of Health in a statement.
As per the feedbacks received from participants, this blood pressure check-up and awareness event has played an important role in successfully delivering and acting on a global public health message at the local level. Similar health promoting activities, including blood pressure awareness and check-up along with environmental cleanliness efforts, were held in different Tibetan settlements to mark this year’s world Health Day.