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May Measurement Month tackles high blood pressure worldwide
Campaigners around the world joined forces in one of the biggest screening programmes in history
Doctors, nurses and scientists set out to measure the blood pressures of 25 million people during the first ever May Measurement Month. Led by the International Society of Hypertension and the World Hypertension League, the team aimed to raise awareness of high blood pressure and the 10 million lives lost every year to due to the health problems it causes.
The British and Irish Hypertension Society (BIHS) led the campaign for the UK and Ireland, taking on the target of measuring a million people’s blood pressures in just one month.
Volunteers worldwide set up screening centres in imaginative locations, from city centres and railway stations to tents in remote villages. A team in India collected 20,000 pressures in just 22 days, and two British nurses ran a clinic in Cambridge in early May before heading to Uganda to do the same in a Kampala hospital.
ISH President Professor Neil Poulter said of the team: “Their goal was to screen as many people as possible worldwide who had not had their blood pressure measured in the previous year. And they achieved that and much more — in some instances, they were screening people in their sixties or older who had never had their blood pressure measured at any time in their lives.”
As well as providing governments with information and motivation to improve their nations’ health, the event found many of the undiagnosed, giving them the chance to get the support they need.
Details of the numbers of people reached, and their blood pressures, are being processed now and will be released in the coming months.
Blood Pressure UK Chairman, Professor Graham MacGregor, said: This is a milestone event in raising awareness of the countless lives that could be saved if everyone knew their numbers. Join the fight against the high blood pressure and the needless deaths it causes and take part in our flagship campaign, Know Your Numbers! Week, in September.
Read all about May Measurement Month and the volunteers’ stories from around the world.