ISLAMABAD – The World Hypertension Day 2012 was marked on Thursday across the world including Pakistan to promote public awareness of hypertension and encourage citizens to prevent and control this silent killer.

The theme for year 2012 is Healthy lifestyle -healthy blood pressure. Exercise on regular basis, a reduced intake of salt and controlled sugar level keep the blood pressure normal, says an expert Dr Naeem Mian while talking to state-run media organisation on Thursday. He said with continued efforts at the national, regional and local levels to increase public awareness about healthy lifestyle, healthy blood pressure and adherence to therapy will make a huge difference. 

He said the word hyper means much and pressure means increase, normally it remains controlled in our body but when its level increases, problem of high blood pressure occurs. He said almost everybody including male and female who are above 60 become patient of it naturally.

“Unfortunately now a days due to social and financial constraints people are having complaints of high blood pressure even at very young age but its controllable”, he said. Replying to a question he said hypertension can be caused due to obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, and alcohol. So every body should visit the doctor for check ups after every six months.

He suggested some best preventive measures in this regard: Modifying lifestyle; balanced diet; less use of salt, sugar and fat to keep control the weight ; use of green vegetables should be frequent. He added whoever is patient of high blood pressure, his fat metabolism system get disturbed and when fat increases than blood pressure also increases which can damage kidneys and can cause brain hemorrhage to the patient so sugar should be controlled at first, rest of the problems will be automatically controlled.

“Blood pressure itself has no symptoms but if a person complains of eye sight weakness, headache ,lack of appetite, less activity than he is suffereing from hypertension (blood pressure), he maintained.

Measures to curb hepatitis spread urged

Social workers and patients of hepatitis have asked the concerned quarters to take serious measures to curb the spread of killer diseases in the country. They demanded concrete steps to reduce prices of the medicines, especially life-saving drugs which are no more affordable for the common man.

Workers of different social sector organizations and patients of hepatitis B and C raised these demands while holding a demonstration in front of National Press Club here against expected artificial increase of prices of some costly drugs.

Over ten per cent population is suffering from hepatitis just because of the re-use of disposable syringes, unscreened blood transfusion and contaminated equipment in medical facilities, they said. They alleged that some multinational companies are exploiting the situation by selling drugs on exorbitant prices while barring entry of affordable medicine in the market.

These multinational companies are also delaying local research aimed at finding cheap local alternatives, they added. The protestors said that cost of the most widely prescribed hepatitis medicine is not more than Rs 3000.  However single dose of the pre-filled syringe is being sold at Rs 13000. The health practitioners who prescribe the medicine get Rs 6500 as commission while rest of the money is distributed among importers, health officials, distributors and retailers, they informed.

Rejecting the artificial price hikes, they said that the pharmaceuticals would give benefit to all the stakeholders except the poor patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. They said poor patients cannot afford two to four doses per month for years while there is no system in place to challenge the prices of medicines. They demanded that import of cheap and quality medicines from neighbor countries should be immediately allowed.