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Eating healthy, regular exercising reduces risk of hypertension – Dr Kelej

Written by on May 22, 2024

Through its new animation film ‘Mark’s Pressure’, the Merck Foundation urges people to exercise regularly, eat healthy and stop smoking as part of preventive measures to prevent and manage hypertension and diabetes, which are predominant risk factors for the development of several serious complications and diseases.

The Merck Foundation, joined the rest of the world on 17 May in observing World Hypertension Day, under the theme ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer’.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition where the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated.

This increased pressure forces the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels.

Merck Foundation chief executive doctor Rasha Kelej says the foundation observed the day by improving access to quality and equitable hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular preventive care – which are all co-related – in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“Together with our ambassadors, the first ladies of Africa and partners like ministries of health, medical societies and academia, more than 760 scholarships were provided to doctors from 52 countries, including Namibia, for a one-year postgraduate diploma and a two-year master’s degree in preventive cardiovascular, diabetes, endocrinology, obesity and weight management,” she says.

Kelej says the foundation recently launched new fellowship programmes of one-year clinical cardiovascular care and clinical diabetes, as well as onsite training programs in India for African doctors.

“These programs will help us to further improve cardiovascular, hypertension and diabetes care in other developing countries,” she says.

The 760 scholarships are part of the 1 810 scholarships the Merck Foundation provided to doctors from 52 countries in 42 critical and underserved medical specialties, Kelej says.

The Merck Foundation also released a children’s storybook, which focuses on the causes of early-onset hypertension and is aimed at raising awareness about its early detection, prevention and management.

The Namibian in July last year repoted that 387 people were tested for hypertension in a week-long hypertension awareness campaign, revealing that 167 people lived with elevated blood pressure, while 117 of them were unaware of their condition.

Last August, minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula announced that cases of high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes are overwhelming.

The post Eating healthy, regular exercising reduces risk of hypertension – Dr Kelej appeared first on The Namibian.

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