‘Check Yuh Pressure’
FFP, ECC nursing students collaborate for World Hypertension Day
This male nursing student from Excelsior Community College examines the blood pressure readings of a Food for the Poor employee.

THE Excelsior Community College (ECC) School of Nursing and Allied Health (SONAH) recently collaborated with Food For the Poor (FFP) to execute a ‘Check Yuh Pressure’ clinic day.

Hosted by FFP at its Spanish Town offices on Tuesday, May 17, the set-up saw SONAH students, accompanied by two clinical instructors, and a clinical manager, conducting blood pressure checks on members of staff at FFP.

The activities got underway at 10:00 am, with students being assigned to three stations set up within the facility — Station 1 (inside the conference room), Station 2 (one of the offices) and Station 3 (in the main lobby area). Each station was equipped with Lysol wipes, sanitisers, gloves and bottles of water.

The staff of the facility who participated had their blood pressure checks done, and relevant advice offered about hypertension — causes, risk factors, lifestyle and dietary modifications. Emphasis was also placed on compliance to medications (applicable to hypertensive persons).

According to student nurse Delando Salmon from the ECC, “as student nurses, we are here to volunteer to do blood pressure checks for the staff and to bring awareness to hypertension because it is a leading disease that affects millions of persons across the world and in truth and in fact, not many persons pay attention to it.”

One in three Jamaicans are hypertensive — 35.8 per cent women and 31.7 per cent men, according to the Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey for 2016/17; four out of every 10 Jamaicans with hypertension are unaware of their status — 60 per cent men and 26 per cent women; and more and more Jamaicans aged 15 to 74 years old are developing hypertension.

Chevanese Rowe-Lyn Sue, health and child care manager at FFP, says the company decided to host the ‘Check Yuh Pressure’ clinic on Hypertension Day because, “health is a very important part of the mission and vision of Food For The poor.”

She added: “Hypertension continues to be a great cause of non-communicable diseases in Jamaica, and many persons are unaware of their blood pressure levels and the steps they can take to manage and control their blood pressure; Food For the Poor Jamaica decided that this was a very important day for us to mark, and as well as to allow our staff to know their blood pressure levels and continue to be healthy.”

High blood pressure is defined as readings of 120 mm Hg and higher for the systolic blood pressure measurement, or readings of 80 and higher for the diastolic measurement. If ignored, hypertension can lead to health problems, including heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.

In observance of World Hypertension Day 2022, which is commemorated every May 17, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), through the HEARTS in the Americas Initiative in collaboration with The Lancet Regional Health-Americas, also played their part in spreading awareness by way of a webinar, under the theme, ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer!’

They sought to highlight the low hypertension awareness rate worldwide, promote accurate blood pressure measurement methods, and underscore the importance of improving hypertension control to live longer and healthier.

Students and lecturers from the Excelsior Community College’s School of Nursing and Allied Health recently conducted blood pressure checks on members of staff at Food For the Poor.

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