66 pc deaths in Maha due to NCDs like hypertension: Official

Around 66 per cent of deaths in Maharashtra are due to non-communicable diseases and there was need to increase awareness about hypertension, Nagpur Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Kumar said Tuesday.

"In Maharashtra, approximately 66 per cent of all deaths are due to NCDs. In Nagpur, around 3 lakh people are estimated to have raised blood pressure, many of them unaware of the condition," he said.

"The government and medical fraternity must work together to ensure early detection of hypertension so that lives are saved. We must also screen for blood pressure at the household level. If diagnosed, put them on treatment, monitor that they continue to receive medicines," a statement quoted him as saying.

Speaking on the occasion, Abhishek Kunwar, National Professional Officer, Cardiovascular Diseases, WHO Country Office for India, said, "Hypertension is the leading cause of death among non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India. To make hypertension treatment widely available, the government of India and several state governments have initiated the India Hypertension Control Initiative program (IHCI)."

"In Maharashtra, four districts, Bhandara, Wardha, Satara and Sindhudurg have been selected for implementation of IHCI in the first phase. The programme is focused on screening of patients for hypertension at all health facilities," he added.

They were speaking at a media dialogue on 'Trans-Fat Elimination and Hypertension Management' organised Tuesday by Disha Foundation.

Disha Foundation president Dr Anjali Borhade said awareness was important as hypertension, if untreated, can lead to disability or even death.