India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI) receives UN Award

‘2022 UN Interagency Task Force, and WHO Special Programme on Primary Health Care Award’ was conferred to India for its India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI).

Key facts

  • The UN award was conferred at the UN General Assembly side event that was held on September 21, 2022 in New York.
  • The India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI) is a joint initiative of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), state governments and World Health Organization-India.
  • It was launched in 2017 and expanded in a phased manner to cover more than 130 districts across 23 states in India.
  • It was given recognition for its ability to prevent and control non-communicable diseases and delivering integrated people-centric primary care.
  • The initiative controlled hypertension at the primary healthcare system level, minimising the deaths caused by heart attacks, stroke and kidney failures.
  • Under this initiative, existing healthcare delivery system was strengthened and steps were taken to improve interventions under National Health Mission.
  • Under this initiative, more than 34 lakh people with hypertension were treated in government health facilities like Ayushman Bharat Health Wellness Centres (HWCs).
  • The initiative covered simple drug-dose-specific standard treatment protocol, providing sufficient quantity of protocol medications, decentralization of care with follow-ups and refills of medicines in health wellness centres etc.
  • Data was collected to keep track of patients to control their blood pressure and maintain follow-ups.
  • Under this initiative, nearly 50 per cent of those who were treated had blood pressure under control.
  • This initiative complements the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke (NPCDCS) implemented by the Union Health Ministry.

About hypertension

Hypertension is a health condition caused when the force of blood against the artery walls is high. While it is asymptomatic, it can cause conditions like heart disease and stroke if left untreated. It can be prevented through the consumption of healthier diet with less salt, regular exercise and medication.

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