Antigua and Barbuda expand access to Blood Pressure measurements in recognition of World Hypertension Day

17 May 2022
Blood pressure kiosk in ATG

St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda, 17 May (PAHO/WHO) - Antigua and Barbuda joined the rest of the world in recognizing World Hypertension Day 2022 under the theme “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.” A day dedicated to highlighting the importance of monitoring blood pressure as elevated blood pressure (BP) has been referred to as the leading cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) contributing to high illnesses and deaths.

In observance of this day the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment as a show of its commitment to achieving the target of reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025 launched its first ever blood pressure kiosk. The Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment Honourable Sir Molwyn Joseph was on hand to declare the kiosk officially opened. The kiosk was donated by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).  It is hoped that having easy, affordable access to blood pressure checks would get individuals in the habit of monitoring their blood pressure regularly and taking control of it.  

From left Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Hon Sir Molwyn Joseph, PAHO/WHO Country Program Specialist for Antigua and Barbuda, Dr. Gemma Chery and General Manager Perry Bay Supermarket, Mr Vorn Challenger

Additionally, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment encourages everyone who have never had their blood pressure checked to get it checked. National studies conducted in countries in the Caribbean suggests that close to one in three adults have raised blood pressure or diagnosed with hypertension.  The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that almost half of the persons with hypertension are unaware that they have the condition. Early and sustained treatment of high blood pressure reduces the risk of heart attacks, stroke and kidney failure.

The kiosk is stationed at the Perry Bay supermarket located in St. John’s, the capital of Antigua and Barbuda. Citizens and residents can now visit the supermarket to have their pressure checked at no cost and at a time convenient for them, so that they can  #knowtheirnumbers!  Generally, people see their doctors once or twice a year, but they go to the supermarket once or twice weekly, hence the decision to place the kiosk at that strategic location.

The Ministry thanks the management and staff of Perry Bay supermarket on becoming the first HEARTS partner in Antigua and Barbuda.