Concern Over Uncontrolled Hypertension In Saint Lucia – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Uncontrolled hypertension in Saint Lucia has become a cause for concern among Health Ministry officials.

Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs Minister Moses Jn Baptiste highlighted the concern in a message to mark World Hypertension Day.

Jn Baptiste disclosed that in Saint Lucia, about forty percent of people with hypertension have their condition under control.

 “This is concerning since uncontrolled hypertension is the most common preventable cause of strokes and heart attacks, which are the second and third leading causes of death, respectively, in Saint Lucia,” the Minister stated.

Jn Baptiste observed that high blood pressure does not usually cause symptoms.

As a result, he urged people to measure their blood pressure regularly at home or at healthcare providers, including at healthcare facilities.

According to the Minister,  controlling hypertension results in significantly fewer strokes, heart attacks, disabilities, and deaths.

He explained that various hypertension control methods exist, including lifestyle or behaviour changes and the use and adherence to prescribed antihypertensive medicines.

From August 1st, 2023, patients could freely access antihypertensive medicines at the wellness centers.

In addition, Jn Baptiste revealed that, through the Performance Based Financing Project, lab tests are available at no cost at select wellness centres. 

He also stated that the Saint Lucia Government was working through the Universal Health Coverage Programme to make available free laboratory testing for all hypertensives and diabetics at all wellness centres.