Persons with Impairments join Fight against Hypertension, Tobacco Use

Persons with Impairments join Fight against Hypertension, Tobacco Use

By Nadege Ngeh

It’s time to know my blood pressure status and quit using tobacco! At a time when the world is struggling 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. This call also advocates for a whole-of-society approach 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, involving persons with impairments. The commemorative activities marked World Hypertension Day and World No Tobacco Day, which are celebrated 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 for this year was to raise awareness on hypertension and tobacco use as risk factors for cardiovascular disease. It also highlighted 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.

Various activities formed an integral part of the twin celebration. Sporting activities included an amputee football match and gold-ball by persons with mobility and visual impairments. 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. In his presentation, the General Supervisor for the CBC Health Services’ NCD Prevention and Control Program, Dr. Epie Njume explained that persons with impairments are equally exposed to the traditional risk factors for NCDs just as the general population. He noted some of the risk factors may have a more severe impact on them 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,” Dr. Njume remarked.