In a significant achievement and recognition to country’s efforts against hypertension, India has won an UN award for its “India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI)”, a large-scale hypertension intervention under National Health Mission. IHCI has been recognized for its exceptional work within India’s existing primary healthcare system.
Complimenting the healthcare initiative, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare stated in a tweet: “IHCI has strengthened PM @NarendraModi Ji’s mission to ensure health & wellness for all”. We are committed to building a healthy & fit India, he further noted.
Significance of the initiative can be adjudged from the fact that one in four adults in India has high blood pressure. The control of hypertension at primary care system level will contribute to reducing deaths due to heart attacks, stroke and kidney failures.
IHCI has been able to leverage and strengthen the existing healthcare delivery system, hypertension control interventions under National Health Mission and improve the linkages between populations-based screening initiative with health care. The initiative was launched in 2017 and expanded in a phased manner to cover more than 130 districts across 23 states. Under the initiative, more than 34 lakh people with hypertension are taking treatment in government health facilities, including Ayushman Bharat Health Wellness Centres (HWCs). The project strategies are easily scalable within the health system. The strategies include a simple drug-dose-specific standard treatment protocol, ensuring adequate quantity of protocol medications, decentralization of care with follow-up and refills of medicines at Health Wellness Centres, task sharing involving all health staff and a powerful real-time information system which can track every patient for follow-up and blood pressure control. Under IHCI, nearly half of those who were treated had blood pressure under control.
The IHCI complements the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke (NPCDCS) of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. IHCI accelerates the achievement of targets of the Government of India by ensuring a continuum of care and giving a boost to the ongoing “Ayushman Bharat” programme.