Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. As per reports of the World Health Organization (WHO), globally 1 billion people suffer from high BP, out of which two thirds of the people are from developing countries.
In 2025, the WHO estimated that the total number of people suffering from high blood pressure will increase to 1.56 billion from the current 1 billion. In the UAE, 75% of people who suffer from a stroke are due to high blood pressure and 50% of these have never been diagnosed or treated for high BP.
Acknowledging the alarming rise in the incidence of hypertension & stroke in the UAE, Emirates Neurology Society has launched hypertension and stroke awareness campaign in collaboration with Aster Hospital & Clinic. This campaign aims to educate the public about the risk-factors and prevention of High BP & its resultant acute & chronic conditions.
The awareness campaign was officiated on Sunday, 21st May at Aster Hospital Mankhool. The campaign offers free health check-up for 3 days from 21st – 23rd May, at Aster Hospital and Aster Clinics across UAE in AbuDhabi (Hamdan St.), Dubai (Al Muteena, Bur Dubai, Al Qusais, International City), Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman.
Hypertension increases the risk of chronic conditions including stroke, myocardial infarction, neurological & kidney disorders. Stroke is one of the leading causes of mortality, along with cardiovascular diseases and is also the number one cause of chronic disabilities in the world. 50% of the population of UAE are unaware about their High BP as in most cases hypertension does not have any obvious symptoms to indicate that something is wrong. Individuals with hypertension can live for years without experiencing any symptoms or health issues, causing it to be a silent killer.
In the UAE, one third of the population above the age of 22 suffer from high blood pressure.
The high BP screening is particularly beneficial for those above the age of 45 years and smokers, as ageing & smoking increases the risk of hypertension by causing a decrease in the elasticity of the arteries.
Dr Suhail Al Rukn, Stroke and Neurology Consultant and President of Emirates Neurology Society, said: “This is our first collaboration with Aster Hospital & Clinic, we hope to create awareness among 100,000 people in the UAE, about the risks of hypertension and its ways of management. Being one of the largest healthcare providers in the UAE, Aster’s multiple healthcare facilities across the Emirates will help us gain a wider reach within the communities.
The need for this awareness campaign arises from the alarming statistics of the incidence of Hypertension in the UAE. As a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, dependence on fatty foods and a diet high in salts is common in the region, more and more awareness is required about these risk factors. “In the UAE, 18 to 20 percent of the population is obese, 20 percent of the population are diabetics. Moreover, high salt consumption is a major issue. The average amount of salt needed on a daily basis in 2 grams, however, the average amount of salt people in the UAE consume per day is 15 grams which are above the required limit.”
Dr Rukn, further added those screened with one or more risk factors, should be referred to a consultant and should opt for the stroke risk calculator test, which tabulates the likelihood of a person getting a stroke in the next ten years.
In the coming years, a consortium of public & private healthcare providers will be built to discuss future strategies to decrease the no. of high Blood Pressure patients in the society, thereby decreasing the numbers of related cardiovascular, neurological & nephrological disorders.
Aster DM Healthcare, the parent entity of Aster Hospital is conducting various programs as part of the Aster@30 celebration, to educate the community about various health concerns and to promote prevention through public health reach out and mass screenings. “We consider it as an honour to be collaborating with Emirates Neurology Society. This collaboration highlights our commitment to promote health and well-being amongst the population of UAE. Health Awareness campaigns such as these are a wake-up call for people, assisting them to understand where they stand in health matters. As a leading healthcare provider in the region, we are committed and determined to improve the health of the population of UAE in order to further aid in building a healthier nation,” concluded Dr. Sherbaz Bichu, Chief Executive Officer at Aster Hospital Mankhool, Dubai.
Emirates Neurology Society is a scientific society formed as the division of Emirates Medical Association (EMA). EMA was established as a non-profit organisation composed of health practitioners that are members of the EMA as defined by its bylaws. EMA is responsible for supervising and conducting scientific training, events and conferences as well as collaborating with health organisations. EMA is a scientific organisation which has legal personality, and its Headquarter in Dubai, with one branch in Abu Dhabi.