NWU highlights importance of blood pressure awareness
The North-West University (NWU) has joined the worldwide campaign to raise blood pressure awareness with a series of screenings at its campuses and in surrounding communities in May as part of the largest screening campaign ever.
May marks International Blood Pressure Month and 17 May is International Blood Pressure Day. The May Measurement Month is a worldwide screening initiative that highlights the need for increased blood pressure awareness. The aim is to measure the blood pressure of 25 million people globally to find out just how big the problem is. In South Africa various blood pressure awareness drives have been launched to encourage everyone over 18 to have their blood pressure checked.
Locally, free screenings will be conducted throughout May and at all the NWU campuses on 17 May.
Screening sites in easy reach
Screening sites include the NWU Ingryp Centre, NWU Health Centre, NWU Wellness Centre and the Hypertension Clinic of the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART) in Potchefstroom.
Screenings will also be done on 15, 16, 18 and 19 May at the Ikageng Mall in Potchefstroom. In addition, volunteers will be visiting student residences and staff offices, among others.
In Mahikeng, blood pressure screenings will be conducted at the NWU campus’s Great Hall on 31 May. In Vanderbiljpark, screening will take place on 24 May at the lapa at the NWU’s campus. Members of the public can also have their blood pressure screened at all Clicks, Dischem and Pick n Pay pharmacies.
Blood pressure a problem globally
The NWU’s Prof Ruan Kruger and Prof Angela Woodiwiss of the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) are managing the South African campaign. Ruan is the current Chair of the New Investigator Committee of the International Society of Hypertension, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern African Hypertension Society (SAHS). He works within the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART) at the NWU and is affiliated with the South African Medical Research Council Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease Extramural Research Unit.
He says high blood pressure is one of the most reported causes of death in South Africa. “It is also an enormous problem on a global scale. Every year, 10 million people worldwide die from chronic high blood pressure because of strokes, heart attacks or something caused by the condition. Almost half of those people never knew they had high blood pressure. This could have been prevented by having blood pressure regularly checked so that healthier choices to promote longevity can be made.”
He says the free screenings are an excellent opportunity for South Africans to check their blood pressure, and urges everyone to make use of this life-changing community service.
For more information call Ruan at 018 299 2904, Lebo Gafane-Matemane at 018 299 2435 or Bonita Maboeta at 018 299 4280.
Have your blood pressure tested! Prof Ruan Kruger and his dedicated team encourages all staff and students to test.
From left are Elfas Ramotshaba, Prof Ruan Kruger, Cleo Mokhaneli, Lorato Mokae, Blessing Ahiante, Nare Sekoba, Edith Phalane and Gontse Mokwatsi.