BANGKOK – It is estimated some 13 million Thai people have hypertension, and almost half of these are unaware of their condition, which leads to other complications. In a preventive effort, the Ministry of Public Health has joined hands with related agencies to place 100 automatic blood pressure monitors in public places, allowing the general public to measure their own blood pressure and to monitor risks to their health by themselves.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul has witnessed a signing ceremony for a cooperative agreement between the Department of Disease Control, the Department of Provincial Administration, the Department of Local Administration, and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, to promote the general public’s access to free blood pressure monitoring.
The Ministry of Public Health and related agencies will be providing automatic blood pressure monitors which the general public can use by themselves. The 100 devices will be placed in public places such as district offices and government’s one-stop-service centers in Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, and Samut Prakan. The Ministry of Public Health will also encourage the general public to adopt healthier lifestyles by refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol, increasing physical activities, and reducing the consumption of excessively sweet, oily, and salty food, to prevent themselves contracting non-communicable diseases.
The campaign Know Your Number, Know Your Risk will be run in parallel with the placement of blood pressure monitors at hospitals and government offices, as well as providing training programs for village volunteers to help take care of villagers’ health.
Based on a survey, 24.7 percent of the Thai population has hypertension, or about 13 million persons. This number is increasing. About 45 percent of persons with hypertension are unaware of their condition due to unnoticeable early symptoms. Failure to treat the condition in time could lead to other complications such as stroke, coronary artery disease, and kidney disease.