High blood pressure is one of the prevalent cardiovascular diseases in the Philippines. It has been estimated that about ten million Filipinos are suffering from the said chronic yet silent disease since it is often without warning signs unless the blood pressure is too high. This is the very reason why most of the Filipinos do not know that they have the disease.
Hypertension ranked second in the top 10 morbidity cases as of year 2015 of Barangay Goaw, Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte. Most of the identified hypertensive individuals lack knowledge about hypertension. They do not see the disease as life threatening because the symptoms are not always evident. In fact, more than 50% are not on antihypertensive medications.
To decrease the number of uncontrolled hypertensive individuals from 98% to 15% in Barangay Goaw, several activities were conducted. Such interventions were geared towards addressing the lack of knowledge and poor compliance in medication regime of hypertensive individuals.
The group conducted a series of mass blood pressure (BP) taking to comply the guidelines for diagnosis of Hypertension based on JNC 8.
Also, as part of the group's “Kontrol Alta Presyon Program”, a management scheme was established that encourages hypertensive individuals to register at Rural Health Unit to avail free antihypertensive medications at the barangay through the help of midwife and NDPs.
After 2 months, out of 318 individuals aged 18 years and above, 290 individuals or 91% participated in mass BP taking. As of August 2016 community exposure, 30 individuals were diagnosed by the Municipal Health Officer(MHO) with hypertension of whom 19 individuals are classified with Stage 1 hypertension while 11 individuals are with Stage 2 hypertension. The identified hypertensive individuals were enrolled in Hypertension club, a nationwide database for hypertension. They were given free maintenance medications good for one month and the succeeding medications are to be given at the barangay during the monthly visit of midwife and NDPs, as agreed by the MHO.
Among 49 individuals with systolic BP of above 120mmHg and/or diastolic above 80mmHg and with systolic above 140mmHg and/or diastolic above 90mmHg, 35 individuals participated in “Kontrol Alta Presyon Program.” The factors identified that lead to incomplete attendance of the participants include work-related matters and problems in the family. The use of free hypertensive medication to encourage individuals to go for check up is not guaranteed to be effective. Furthermore, it is recommended to use other motivational strategy to improve health seeking behavior of hypertensive individuals.