When did you last get your Blood Pressure measured? The same question was asked by Prof. Mohamed Mustafa Kardash to a large group of Registrars of Medicine and found that very few had actually measured their BP in the recent past. Much awareness is needed in this country about Hypertension –the silent killer.
The first conference of Hypertension was held on 20th & 21st December at Hotel Grand Holiday Villa in Khartoum. At the inauguration on 19th December Prof.Siddig Ibrahim Khaleel presented that the changing habits and life style due to urbanization was increasing the prevalence of Hypertension in Sudan. Our eating habits are changing from traditional food to eating out fast foods, diets with refined carbohydrates, high salt content, saturated fats with minimal physical activities, smoking and Diabetes. With these risk factors Hypertension is a major cause for Heart Attacks and Brain Attacks leading to sufferings and death. Prof.Siddig added that the prevalence of hypertension is almost 40% of patients seen in hospitals in Khartoum.
Consultants from different disciplines like Cardiology, Neurology, Radiology and others spoke with various perspectives and findings related to Hypertension. The two day conference was house full with junior doctors. Someone observed that 85% of the attendees were women.
Amna Abdalla Babiker from the department of Biochemistry made an interesting presentation about her study with fresh water melon juice which has the potential of reducing high blood pressure and reducing cholesterol.
Prof. Hassan Abu-Aisha shared that 87% of people in Khartoum are inactive with no physical exercise. His prescription is minimum half an hour physical exercise per day and has registered Sudan Safe Exercise for All (SEFA). In fact he made all attendees in the conference stand up and perform a few exercises. He emphasized the need to strengthen the musculoskeletal system and to potentiate the breathing by utilizing all the air sacs in the lungs. Prof.Abu-Aisha mentioned that regular physical exercises helped in both primary and secondary prevention of all diseases ranging from Hypertension, Diabetes to Cancer.
Everyone congratulated Dr.Ibtisam Ahmed Ali, President of Sudanese Society of Hypertension, for successfully organizing the conference. She encouraged the Young Sudanese Investigators by endorsing their innovation of Sudanese Stress Ring. The only regret was that the two foreign experts Prof.Peter M.Nilsson from Sweden and Prof.Daniel Lemogoum from Cameroon could not make it to the conference.