An Overview of the May Measurement Month & World Hypertension Day
Every year, 17th May is dedicated to World Hypertension Day celebrations aimed at increasing the awareness of high blood pressure/hypertension. However, due to the rapid global increase in hypertension, International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and World Hypertension League (WHL) designated the entire Month of May, dubbed, as May Measurement Month (MMM) to help in ensuring that many people as possible are screened on their blood pressure levels.
High blood pressure (BP) is one of the greatest contributing factors to mortality and disease burden worldwide. Surprisingly, many people have raised blood pressure (hypertension) are not aware of their hypertensive condition. This may be linked to lack of regular blood pressure check-ups and awareness.
Therefore, May Measurement Month (MMM), which was launched in 2017, aims at expanding blood pressure screening globally to serve as a pragmatic solution to lack of formal screenings in most regions in the world. In Kenya, KCS spearheads mass campaign for blood pressure screenings, health education and health promotion in collaboration with Ministry of Health (MoH) and other stakeholders. KCS has participated in MMM campaign since its inception in 2017.
2019 May Measurement Month & World Hypertension Day
In 2019, KCS was able to work with the MoH and other stakeholders to support blood pressure screening activities in 28 counties. The services provided during this campaign included: education on hypertension and risk factors, blood pressure screening, blood sugar screening, Body Mass Index (BMI) calculations and Nutrition counselling. The 2019 world hypertension Day was celebrated on 17th May in Kitengela town, District Officer’s (DOs) ground, Kajiado County in collaboration with MoH at National level and Kajiado County health management team. Hypertension screening services among other services including blood sugar testing, weight assessment and nutritional counselling were provided by different organizations who joined in marking this very important date.
During the MMM19, we managed to reach 100,818 individuals with hypertension awareness and screening. Those found to have elevated blood pressure were referred to the nearest health facility for diagnosis and further management. Health education and nutritional counselling was provided to educated those accessing screening services on the risk factors as well as the need for regular screening. Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials in form of posters, flyers, T-shirts, pull-up banners were used to reinforce the messages.
Though formal analysis will be carried out on the data submitted, preliminary analysis indicated that majority reached were females (approximately 60%). This calls for the need to develop targeted interventions to reach more males. In addition, a significant proportion of individuals had not been recently screened for hypertension and others were known hypertensive patient but not on medication.
We were able to directly work with several county health teams who were very supportive specifically Nyamira, Bomet, Kilifi, Muranga, Nairobi and Kajiado counties. The county teams were able to avail health personnel to conduct the screening services throughout the month. We were also able to reach special populations such as prison inmates. Through the prison headquarters and county teams, we were able to screen inmates and staff in Muranga, Kilifi and Bomet counties. The prison staff were very supportive and appreciative of this initiative.
We also successfully carried out mass media campaigns on hypertension using mainstream channels such as Citizen TV, K24 TV, Switch TV and Milele FM. Health professional as well as people living with hypertension were invited to participate during these media slots. Finally, we were able to conduct a Continuous Medical Education (CME) session in collaboration with looking at hypertension. The CME was well attended with over 70 participants.
Sponsors & Stakeholders
We would like to acknowledge our main sponsor Pfizer and the following sponsors, participating organizations and stakeholders who made MMM 2019 successful:
Other Partners Include:
Ministry of health, prisons headquarters, Nairobi county, Kajiado county, kilifi county, Murang’a county, Bomet county, Nyamira county, Gatundu Sub-county hospital, Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK), Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Agha Khan hospital, Meridian hospital, Mp Shah hospital, Moi teaching and referral hospital, Stowelink Inc, Karen hospital, Don Bosco church, Holy Family Basilica, Premiercare Oloitoktok, Kisumu heart centre, Medtronic Labs, Cosmos, International Society for Hypertension, Microlabs, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Safaricom, Amref Health Africa and Newmark Group Limited.