New Delhi: To accelerate the implementation of quality treatment for hypertension among Indians and prevent deaths from a heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, the government announced on Wednesday the expansion of its India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI) to 100 districts covering all the States.
According to government data, uncontrolled high blood pressure or hypertension is the most common reason for sudden heart attack and is a leading cause of death in the country. One in four adults has high blood pressure in India. Among people with high blood pressure, only half have been diagnosed and only 1 in 10 have blood pressure under control.
As a result, a large number of people suffer heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure while in the productive years of life, a health ministry official said. IHCI’s expansion is being done by the Indian Council of Medical Research in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and the Health Ministry.
Launched in November 2017, IHCI has enrolled more than three lakh patients with high blood pressure in government health facilities in 25 selected districts in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, and Maharashtra.
“Now IHCI will expand to 100 districts across India covering all the States. The project will accelerate the implementation of quality hypertension treatment for over 15 crore people over the next four years and prevent deaths from heart attack, stroke and kidney failure,” the official said.
IHCI is a five-year initiative which aims to accelerate India’s efforts to check non-communicable disease (NCT) target by strengthening hypertension management and control using evidence-based strategies.
An estimated 20 crore people nationwide have high blood pressure but fewer than 2 crore have it under control. The IHCI complements the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke of Union Health ministry.
Launching the expansion of IHCI, Balram Bhargava, director general of ICMR, said the government has adopted a national action plan for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and has set a target for a 25 pc reduction in high blood pressure by 2025. “IHCI is a model initiative towards that,” Bhargava said. “Hypertension is a silent killer. Treatment of hypertension is simple, effective, easily available and needs to be continued lifelong. The WHO has prioritized Universal Health Coverage, and the India Hypertension Control Initiative serves as an excellent example of a free programme that improves the health of the Indian people,” said Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India.
To address the high burden of mortality due to non-communicable diseases, the government has adopted the “25 by 25” goal which aims to reduce premature mortality due to NCDs by 25 per cent by 2025. One of the nine voluntary targets includes reducing the prevalence of high BP by 25 per cent by 2025.