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Discovering Hypertension launched

CSR initiative by PharmEvo

By Mubarak Ali

KARACHI: Hypertension stands out at as a leading contributor in deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, followed by dyslipidemia and diabetes. It is estimated to affect 33% of adults of age 30-79 Worldwide. Currently 56% of hypertensive patients in Pakistan remain undiagnosed and among diagnosed patients 65% are not receiving any form of treatment while only 11% are under control out of 35% who are taking treatment. We should manage our BP by timely medication, lifestyle changes, checking BP regularly and taking preventive measures. This was stated by Dr. Somia Iqtidar General Secretary of Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM) while speaking at launching ceremony of Discovering Hypertension a CSR initiative of M/s PharmEvo launched in collaboration with Pakistan Cardiac Society, Pakistan Hypertension League, Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine, Neurology Awareness & Research Foundation and Pakistan Association of Lifestyle Medicine held at a local hotel here on May 21st, 2024.

Group photograph after unveiling plaque of Discovering Hypertension a CSR initiative of PharmEvo shows from (L to R) Mr. Mohsin Sheraz, Mr. Haroon Qasim, Prof. Nawaz Lashari, Prof. Fawad Farooq, Dr. Somia Iqtadar, Ms. Aamina Sheikh, Prof. M Wasay, Syed Jamshed Ahmed and Mr. Mansoor Ali Khan.

Dr. Somia Iqtadar said that youngsters and adults are not aware that they have elevated blood pressure, which is silently damaging their blood vessels and vital organs including the heart, lungs, kidneys, and eyes. There are 33.2 million individuals with hypertension in Pakistan, 18.59 million people remain undiagnosed and out of these 14.61 million have received an official diagnosis and only 5.11 million are currently under treatment. Public health expenditure is very low 0.46% of GDP which should be 6% of total GDP as per WHO recommendations. We should focus on awareness and education campaign, mass screening initiatives to identify undiagnosed hypertensive patients, Health Providers training besides national consensus and guidelines.

She further stated that approximately 24% patients are unable to control blood pressure due to inadequate medication. Due to heavy patient load, physicians have not enough time to counsel patients properly. BP mentoring in OPD is also not up to the recommended guidelines. WHO recommends a monthly follow-up after initiation or a change in hypertensive medication until patient reach targets. WHO also suggests a follow-up every three to six months for patients whose BP is under control.

Panel Discussion

Prof. M. Wasay President Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation (NARF), Prof. Fawad Farooq, General Secretary Pakistan Cardiac Society (PCS) Prof. Nawaz Lashari, President Pakistan Hypertension League (PHL), Dr. Shagufta Sheikh Pakistan Association of Lifestyle Medicine, Ms. Aamina Sheikh brand ambassador of the ‘Discovering Hypertension’ project were the panelists. Dr. Masood Jawaid, Director Medical Affairs PharmEvo moderated the panel discussion.

Dr. Masood Jawaid, Director Medical Affairs PharmEvo moderating the panel discussion during Discovering Hypertension launch meeting organized by PharmEvo in Karachi on May 21st, 2024. Sitting on the stage from (L to R) are Syed Jamshed Ahmed, Ms. Aamina Sheikh, Prof. Fawad Farooq, Prof. M. Wasay, Prof. Nawaz Lashari, Dr. Somia Iqtadar and Mr. Haroon Qasim.

Replying to question, Prof. M. Wasay stated that we should prevent hypertension in our young generation, attend to the risk factors which are becoming stronger and stronger. Air pollution is the biggest risk factor which must be taken care if we have to reduce the incidence of hypertension. He termed air pollution, the highest per capita consumption of oil, the use of tobacco, in addition to high salt intake and physical inactivity, as leading causes of hypertension in Pakistan. Prof. M. Wasay encouraged people to eat simple food with low sodium, regular walk, avoid consuming processed foods and sugary drinks, and avoid smoking, vaping, and consuming tobacco in all its forms.

Prof. Fawad Farooq, congratulated PharmEvo for their continues support to initiate different programs to create healthier society. He urged the participants to start at least 40 minutes’ walk daily because unhealthy diet and lack of exercise are the major risk factors of hypertension. He urged the HCP’s to forcefully convey the message to the patients that hypertension is a killer disease which can only be avoided by following the management guidelines.

Prof. Nawaz Lashari, said that lack of education of patients and doctors and Government not paying for the resources are the main factors of uncontrolled hypertension. Patients don’t know the importance of proper medication besides availability and affordability of medicines is very important to manage hypertension. We have to improve the services in Basic Health Units, Tertiary Care hospitals and DHQ hospitals so that poor people are managed properly.

Dr. Shagufta Sheikh stated that we have to focus on our self-care which is the key for the patients for the doctor and the community to live healthy. Poor quality of sleep, physical inactivity, like sitting for long time is another form of smoking. It is advised not to sit for more than thirty to forty minutes which can be a serious problem she advised.

Ms. Aamina Sheikh brand ambassador of the ‘Discovering Hypertension’ project, , said that she was surprised to learn about the damage caused by high blood pressure to the human body and assured to promote preventive measures, and the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including physical activity, to live a healthy life.

Syed Jamshed Ahmed Deputy Chief Executive Officer of PharmEvo addressing the participants said that Pakistan a country of 240 million population having youngest population in the World aged between 15 t0 45 is leading in hypertension, diabetes, obesity and stroke. There is dire need to address this problem. Discovering Hyperion programme’s objectives are to raise awareness of hypertension and promote public and healthcare education, mass level screening of blood pressure to reduce the proportion of individuals with undiagnosed high blood pressure in Pakistan. To engage key stakeholders for advocacy and leadership on hypertension management and reducing disease burden and to improve control rates in hypertension through educating on guidelines directed medical therapy.

Our aim is to screen around one million people for hypertension by June 2025, across Pakistan at 500 sites in the country. We will train one thousand GP’s on updated guidelines significantly enhancing their knowledge of hypertension management, updating Google map location of these certified GP’s for better patient reach besides 24hour helpline. People who would be found hypertensive would be linked to 100 clinics throughout the country for the management and treatment of hypertension. The theme of the project is “check, change, and control, he added.

Mr. Haroon Qasim Managing Director PharmEvo in his concluding remarks requested all the stakeholders to come on board and work for prevention of all the diseases which are major burden on our healthcare and financial structure. Our Government and healthcare providers should go on to the root cause and start going to schools and teach the children how to prevent diseases and lifestyle modifications they need to adopt because children are the major influencer for shaping life of the family. Mr. Haroon Qasim thanked PharmEvo team for taking this cause which is very close to our heart and close to our mission to work for healthier society.

Earlier Mr. Mansoor Ali Khan Commercial Director PharmEvo giving details of different initiatives of PharmEvo said that during our two decade long journey, we have been driven by our vision to promote a healthier society, we have been actively working for the physical as well as mental wellbeing of the society. Our CSR initiatives Mr. Mansoor stated includes Jashane-e-Maseeha, Institute of Leadership Excellence, Evo talks, PharmEvo Research Forum, PharmAssist, Discovering Diabetes etc. PharmEvo has become the first pharmaceutical company in Pakistan to feature Philip Kotler’s book Essentials of modern marketing, as a case study for our CSR initiative, he added.

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