India wins UN award for its work to combat hypertension

NEW DELHI: India got a UN award for its "India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI)" on Wednesday, which was a significant accomplishment and acknowledgment of the nation's efforts to combat hypertension.

IHCI, a joint project of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), state governments, the World Health Organization-India, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was recognised with the "2022 UN Interagency Task Force and WHO Special Programme on Primary Health Care Award" at a UN General Assembly side event on September 21 in New York.

According to a statement from the Health Ministry, the IHCI is a significant hypertension intervention funded by the National Health Mission that has been commended for its outstanding performance within India's primary healthcare system.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted in praise of the healthcare initiative: "IHCI has enhanced PM @NarendraModi Ji's mission to achieve health & wellness for all." He added that we are dedicated to creating a fit and healthy India.

In order to prevent and control Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and (ii) provide primary care that is integrated and centred on the needs of the patient, India has demonstrated exceptional commitment and effort. The UN Task Force has selected organisations that have a multisectoral approach to NCD prevention and control as well as multisectoral activity that has produced results in primary care for NCD prevention and control and related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The National Health Mission's hypertension management strategies and the connections between population-based screening programmes and healthcare have all been strengthened and leveraged by IHCI. The programme was started in 2017 and gradually expanded to include more than 130 districts across 23 states.

More than 34 lakh individuals with hypertension are receiving treatment through the project at government health institutions, including Ayushman Bharat Health Wellness Centers (HWCs). A straightforward drug-dose-specific standard treatment protocol, ensuring an adequate supply of protocol medications, decentralising care with follow-up and medication refills at Health Wellness Centers, task sharing involving all health staff, and a potent real-time information system that can track every patient for follow-up and blood pressure control are some of the strategies.

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