Include Persons with Impairments in the Fight against Hypertension and Tobacco Use. It’s time to know my blood pressure status and quit tobacco!
At a time when the world is preparing to recover from the ravages of COVID-19, there is a global call for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) to be considered in National Response and Recovery Plans as a way of #buildingbackbetter. This call also underscores the need for a whole-of-society approach to fight against the rising burden of NCDs.
Against this backdrop, the CBC Health Services organised sporting activities and screening for Hypertension and Obesity on May 27, 2021, at the Baptist Centre, Nkwen, Bamenda, involving persons with impairments. These were part of activities to mark World Hypertension Day and World No Tobacco Day, which are commemorated internationally on May 17 and 31.
This year, the themes were “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control it and Live Longer” and “Commit to Quit’ respectively. The goal was to raise awareness on hypertension and tobacco use as risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and to highlight the benefits of controlled blood pressure and quitting tobacco. The need for tobacco users to seek professional assistance, to increase their chances of quitting successfully was also emphasised.
Sporting activities, including an amputee football match and gold-ball by persons with mobility and visual impairments were the high point of the twin celebration. Other activities were; radio outreach, sharing of educative and informative messages on hypertension and tobacco use on different social media platforms, health education, screening, and counselling for hypertension and obesity.
The General Supervisor for the CBC Health Services’ NCD Prevention and Control Program, Dr. Epie Njume explained that persons with impairments are exposed to traditional risk factors for NCDs, as the general population but some of these risk factors may have a more severe impact on the former, due to their relatively reduced level of physical activity, limited access to health-related information, screening, diagnoses and management of NCDs.
“We want to use this opportunity to increase awareness on NCDs and risk factors, especially on hypertension and tobacco use, and to highlight the fact that our services (including services to assist persons to quit tobacco) are accessible to persons with impairments”.