One in every four adults suffers from hypertension in Bangladesh.
The information was revealed at a workshop for journalists titled “Hypertension Control in Bangladesh” held at the capital’s BMA Bhaban on Tuesday.
According to the WHO’s first Global Report on Hypertension 2023, the rate of treated people with hypertension is only 38 percent.
Speakers highlighted these issues at the workshop.
The workshop was organized by research and advocacy organization PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) with support from Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), reports UNB.
Twenty-two journalists working in print, television, and online media participated in the workshop.
The report also revealed that 2 lakh 73 thousand people died of cardiovascular disease in 2019 in Bangladesh, and 54 percent of these fatalities were attributable to hypertension.
According to the report by the WHO, 4 out of every 5 people with hypertension are not adequately treated. However, 7.6 crore deaths could be averted by 2050 if treatment facilities are scaled up.
The speakers applauded the government’s recent decision to include the medicine for hypertension in the drug list of Community Clinic and said it is a landmark step in tackling hypertension at the grassroots level.
They, however, emphasised the importance of speedy implementation of this decision to effectively control hypertension-related non-communicable diseases and deaths associated with it across the country by ensuring free anti-hypertensive medicine for the marginalized population.
At the same time, budgets must be increased in this sector to ensure an uninterrupted supply of medicine at the Community Clinic and Upazila Health Complex, they said.
Md. Zakir Hossain, Deputy General Manager (Sales & Marketing) of Essential Drugs Company Limited (EDCL) said, “The availability of hypertension medicine from all Community Clinics will be ensured in the upcoming fiscal year.”
Dr Shamim Jubayer, Program Manager, Hypertension Control Program, National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute, said, “Simply reducing salt intake can greatly reduce the risk of hypertension.”
Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, Bangladesh Country Lead of GHAI; Obaidul Kabir, Executive Editor, Daily Janakantha; and ABM Zubair, Executive Director of PROGGA were also present at the event as discussants.