Today, on World Heart Day, the Ministry of Health within the Government of India rolled out a public campaign on heart health which places a special emphasis on raising awareness of hypertension risk factors that can lead to premature death and morbidity due to cardiovascular disease. This colorful campaign aims to encourage people to adopt an active lifestyle, consume healthy foods and reduce or give up tobacco and alcohol consumption. Hypertension, if left untreated or uncontrolled, is a top risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. In India, at least 220 million adults have high blood pressure and only 12% of them have it under control. The Government of India has made it its mission to stem this public health crisis. In a show of impressive political commitment, on World Hypertension Day earlier this year, the Government announced the ambitious target of bringing 75 million individuals with hypertension and diabetes onto standard care by December 2025. 

Touted as the world’s largest primary health care program, it has already started showing results. As of August 2023, 11 million hypertension and diabetes patients are on treatment as per National NCD Portal. To achieve the target of enrolling 75 million patients, the Government is accelerated efforts, such as developing a roadmap for implementation, expanding the cadre of frontline health workers and launching awareness campaigns such as this one, which is an efficient and reliable way to get the community actively and effectively engaged.

The Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) is proud to support the Government of India's initiative on World Heart Day with the development of campaign materials that are being disseminated through the Government's  official communication channels. These posters are successfully reaching millions with the message of lifestyle modification and treatment adherence – essential strategies for achieving hypertension control. Professional bodies, doctors and field level workers have also been recruited to spread these messages. In India, GHAI is privileged to work closely with the Ministry of Health, providing technical assistance such as strategic planning, stakeholder consultations, supervisory field visits and communication support to strengthen the National Program on Non-Communicable Diseases. Our association with this government-led mass campaign on heart health, opens up new frontiers for collaboration and gives a big push to our goal of hypertension prioritization.

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