1st ISH Middle East and North Africa Regional Advisory Group (MENA RAG) Scientific Session

The MENA RAG was pleased to hold a dedicated session on 13th April during the Joint ESH-ISH 2021 April Meeting.

The session included three presentations:

  • The first one presented by Dr A. Shehab-UAE had the title Which guidelines are more suitable for our patients? The presentation covered the latest ACC/AHA Guidelines 2017 and the ESC/ESH Guidelines 2018 and discussed the difference and similarities within both guidelines. Dr. Shehab touched on two regional guidelines, the UAE and KSA 2018. The point was raised whether there is a need to have individual country guidelines, or if it would be more practical to have unified regional Middle East and North Africa guidelines? This project would only be possible by cooperation and sharing data through a group of experts from multiple countries within the region.
  • The second presentation was Hypertension epidemiology in the middle east and north Africa by Dr. R. El-Bikai-Lebanon. The presentation covered the environmental factors leading to high blood pressure (BP) in the region. It also emphasized the prevalence of hypertension in the region and poor hypertension control. Measures to improve hypertension control were also addressed with optimization of the health services.
  • The third presentation was Hypertension among children in the region by Dr J. Alsaid- Bahrain. The presentation covered the prevalence of hypertension in children including the latest hypertension guidelines in children. It also covered the importance of early recognition of cardiovascular risk factors that could lead to hypertension during adult life. Thus, emphasizing the prevention aspect of hypertension during childhood via lifestyle modifications.

The conclusion of the session was the need to work on two equally important strategies for combating hypertension:

  • Hypertension control: there is a need for structuring of the health care system in the region to be able to control the growing hypertension burden and to permit an overloaded service to better target BP control within couple of months. Involving practitioner nurses and clinical pharmacists is one way of achieving this goal. Other likely strategy is by using telemedicine to reach larger number of patients within their homes.
  • Hypertension Prevention: equally important, cost effective and does not require a lot of resources. It can be done by well-trained health care administrators not necessarily health care professionals. Increase awareness in schools for students and their families is recommended. Public areas such as malls could be considered a target too. Launching hypertension awareness campaigns in May of each year is a suitable time to distribute information. яндекс

Dr. Tawfik Albassam

ISH MENA RAG member  / Deputy of Saudi Hypertension Management Society (SHMS)

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