High blood pressure (HBP) and hypertension are some of the Non-Communicable Diseases that can be life threatening if not properly managed. Lack of adequate information on managing these NCDs while leading healthy lives has sadly seen some community members succumbing to them. Further, they often have no warning signs or symptoms hence many people do not know they have it until it is too late. According to the Kenya Cardiac Society, nearly one billion people have HBP globally; two-thirds being in developing countries.
The situation has started to change following the training of Community Health Workers (CHWs) on HBP and hypertension by Astra Zeneca through Leap mHealth solution. Meet Jane Omenge, a CHW in Kanyimbo Community Unit (CU), Kisii County. Through Leap, Jane earned knowledge on signs and symptoms of HBP, screening for HBP and how to manage HBP. “Armed with this knowledge on high blood pressure, I was determined to help my household members,” says Jane.
During one of her household visits, Jane met Esther, a woman who did not know what was ailing her. Esther complained of frequent headaches. Her entire body was also swollen, even affecting her mobility. Fortunately, Jane had already learned about such symptoms and advised her to visit the health centre for BP screening. On being tested, Esther’s BP was very high and she was put on drugs immediately. She was also advised on lifestyle changes. In just two months, Esther was making good progress and had lost seventeen kilos! “I shall forever be grateful to Jane who advised me to seek medical attention at the health facility. If it were not for her advice, my health would have deteriorated further, perhaps even leading to death. I am now getting better and better!” says Esther elatedly.
Jane has so far assisted two people get HBP screening and enrolment on HBP medication. She continues to make follow ups and advise them on how to manage HBP, emphasizing on lifestyle changes. She looks forward to helping even more community members!
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