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Sensitization and awareness of High blood pressure and Iron deficiency anemia are an important factor in achieving both blood pressure BP and anemia control. In the two rural communities of Cameroon namely, Kiyan and Ntingkah where the project was carried out, observations indicated that the inability to recognize signs and symptoms of high blood pressure and Iron deficiency anemia, their causes, risks factors and prevention methods have led to many loss of lives.
The leading causes of high blood pressure were overweight, lack of physical activity, stress, too much consumption of alcohol and smoking. Loss of blood, menstruation, internal bleeding, and inadequate iron intake through diet were the leading causes of Iron deficiency anemia.
The outcome of this awareness project on high blood pressure and Iron deficiency anemia in Kiyan showed that there was a high percentage of men and women diagnosed with stage 1 BP (40.9%) and 18.6 % for stage 2 BP as compared to 40.4% of the population with normal BP. In Ntingkah, the situation was slightly better with 36.8% of the population being healthy, 38.4% having stage 1 BP but a big proportion, 24,7% having stage 2 BP. Men and women with stage 1 had their BP controlled and followed-up by nurses and those with stage 2 were sent to the district hospitals for treatment.
During the sensitization of iron deficiency anemia, participants were observed by nurses and some women were found suffering from anemia with primary indicators of pale skin, weakness and extreme fatigue. These women were immediately administered free iron supplements. It was sadly observed that some women had suffered multiple miscarriages due to iron deficiency anemia and these women were counseled by nurses on the ground and followed-up.
Addressing these problems, the population was educated, on the causes, risk factors, prevention and treatment of both high blood pressure and iron deficiency anemia and how to manage both problems. At the end of the sensitization and awareness project, many were handed free blood pressure machines and iron supplement to control and manage their blood pressure and iron deficiency problems. We anticipate reaching out to many other rural communities and other African countries by broadening our scope, partnering with other organizations and individuals.