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India wins UN award for initiative against hypertension

IANS Sep 23, 2022

In a significant achievement and recognition of the country's efforts against hypertension, India won a UN award for its 'India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI)'.

A collaborative initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), State Governments and World Health Organisation-India, IHCI has won the '2022 UN Interagency Task Force and WHO Special Programme on Primary Health Care Award' at the UN General Assembly side event held on September 21 in New York.

The IHCI is a large-scale hypertension intervention under National Health Mission which has been recognised for its exceptional work within India's existing primary healthcare system, Health Ministry said in a statement.

Complimenting the healthcare initiative, the Union Health Minister tweeted, "IHCI has strengthened the PM mission to ensure health & wellness for all." We are committed to building a healthy & fit India, he further noted.

The award recognises the outstanding commitment and action of India to (i) prevent and control Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and (ii) deliver integrated people-centric primary care.

The UN Task Force has identified an organisation which has a multisectoral approach to prevention and control of NCDs and multisectoral action with demonstrated results in primary care for prevention and control of NCDs and related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

IHCI has been able to leverage and strengthen the existing healthcare delivery system, and hypertension control interventions under National Health Mission and improve the linkages between populations-based screening initiatives 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 strategies include a simple drug-dose-specific standard treatment protocol, ensuring adequate quantity of protocol medications, decentralisation 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.

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