World Health Day 2013 campaigns on high blood pressure

Every year, the World Health Organization selects a priority area of global public health concern as the theme for World Health Day (WHD).  The 2013 WHD took place on 7 April and was on controlling high blood pressure, a condition which affects more than one in three adults worldwide.

As the world’s population ages and grows, the chances of developing high blood pressure increase which can lead to fatal heart attacks, debilitating strokes, and chronic heart and kidney disease.

High blood pressure is both preventable and treatable. Increasing public awareness is key to enable early detection. This year’s campaign provided an opportunity to focus attention on the prevention and control of high blood pressure, as a means of reducing the number of people affected, both now and in the future, by cardiovascular disease.

EPF believes investment in peer involvement and peer support can contribute to this work. Even if we do not directly address issues linked to prevention and health promotion, given our mandate as a chronic disease patients’ organisation, we do consider this an important area.

Many of EPF’s member organisations are very active in this field. We support the work of fellow health NGOs, including several of our member organisations, who focus on these issues at EU level. They can support health promotion efforts though facilitating community outreach as they regularly liaise with grassroots patient communities. They can also reach out to populations with specific risk factors, or patients with particular disease, and from diverse ethnic and cultural patient groups.