Regular check ups are necessary. In some diseases, you would not realize that you are ill unless they progressed already very far. One example is hypertension – elevated blood pressure. Normal and ideal pressure is defined as a blood pressure of 120/80mmHg. If your pressure is elevated over 140/90mmHg, your doctor would classify it as hypertension. Usually at that stage, you would not experience any symptoms. But the elevated pressure damages already your blood vessels and inner organs. With a pressure of 180/120mmHg or higher, you most likely are experiencing symptoms like a headache, dizziness, blurred vision, nose bleeding or chest pain. Such a hypertensive crisis is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention. It poses a severe risk to your health.
When your doctor has detected an elevated blood pressure during your annual health check up, she/he will discuss with you the optimal treatment options for you. In moderately high pressure, the doctor will educate you on lifestyle modifications that you can do in order to lower your pressure: reduce body weight, reduce salt consumption, increase exercise, add certain foods to your diet and others. Sometimes, your doctor might refer you to a nutritionist to assist you closer with your modifications in your eating habits.
On regularly scheduled follow up visits, your pressure will be monitored. If it does not drop adequately, additional pharmaceutical treatment will be discussed with you.
Many of our patients from the surrounding villages are coming into the clinic with a systolic blood pressure over 200mmHg. They sometimes come in because of the symptoms they experience – oftentimes however the hypertension is an incidental finding. That is the reason why all of our patients will have their blood pressure measured during a consultation.
Together with the patients we are finding individual treatment ways that work for themselves and their specific situation. We have quite a few patients that come in regularly for blood pressure check ups and possibly treatment modifications. For the patients, that are not able to afford treatment themselves, we are cross financing the incurred expenses. At the moment, we have additionally set up a crowdfunding campaign that allows everyone who can to support our community clinic with a monthly contribution.
We believe that patient care is important, not only in Zanzibar but globally. Medical care should be accessible to everyone. We are happy that we can play a part to reach that goal and we are grateful to everyone of our patients and campaign supporters, that enable us to continue.