100,000 Kenyans estimated to die of hypertension annually

Nairobi, KENYA: As Kenya joins the world in marking World Hypertension Day (WHD), an estimated 100,000 people dies annually as a result of the disease in Kenya.

Officiating the world Hypertension Day in Nairobi on Thursday under the Theme “Pima Pressure”, Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki, stated that the lifestyle we are living in contributes a lot in the risk of getting the disease and that there is need of all Kenyans to take early screening to avoid further complications in future.

“I urge all Kenyans to take the advantage and get tested on hypertension and diabetes as early as now because it is very important,” Said Kariuki.

Speaking in the same event, Secretary General of the Pan Africa society of Cardiologists Prof. Elijah Ongola, noted that, 25 percent which is equivalent to almost 100,000 people in Kenya, perish for lack of knowledge and ignorance.

“Hypertension is a burden on Kenyan’s economy and the society that we cannot ignore. In Kenya,only 1 out of 5 persons are aware that they have high blood pressure, only 1 out 10 of those who have Hypertension are on treatment while only 1 in 20 of those who have the disease have the control over it.” Said Prof Ogola.

Some of the key risk factor contributing to the rise of the hypertension includes, behaviours such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits.

Addressing the congregation at the event, Director of Medical services Ministry of Health Dr.Jackson Kioko, urged Kenyans to consume healthy diet, staying physically active and avoid taking tobacco and alcohol as a way of staying healthy and free from the diseases.

“We would like to urge Kenyans to take an active role in achieving the goal of a healthy nation. The day-to-day lifestyle choices we make play a role in our health status and we hope that we can make right ones such as consuming healthy diet, staying physically active and avoidance of tobacco and alcohol.” Said Dr. Kioko.

World Hypertension Day is a day dedicated to increasing public awareness of hypertension as number one contributing risk for global death and was marked in various towns including Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Thika and Embu.

In Nairobi, Doctors played a friendly rugby match with the Kenya Harlequins rugby team as part of the campaign to lobby Kenyans to make healthy and active lifestyle choices.