Age Demands Action on Health in Moldova: Controlling high blood pressure
This year, HelpAge International in Moldova held our Age Demands Action on Health campaign with the Ministry of Health across two towns and seven villages.
Our events were called "Keeping blood pressure under control" to fit with the theme of World Health Day, which was hypertension. Nine HelpAge partners and local health centres took part in the campaign, which included:
- Blood pressure checks. HelpAge volunteers accompanied by nurses also went from house to house, checking the blood pressure of those who couldn't get to the health centres.
- Free medical consultations for each person identified with high blood pressure.
- Donating 36 blood pressure monitors to nine health centres.
- Conducting information sessions and distributing flyers on preventing and monitoring hypertension.
Trained volunteers took part
The groups of volunteers who took part in the campaign are trained volunteers in primary healthcare and community-based support and were given medical kits.
In Carabetovca village, the event at the health office was full of people from early in the morning. The volunteers from the Women's Club "Comunitate", a HelpAge partner, organised the event with the health centre. Five tables were arranged for volunteers and nurses to measure blood pressure and those with high blood pressure were referred to doctors.
Mr Martin, 65, came early in the morning to be the first for the blood pressure check. He has had problems with his blood pressure, so was interested in the event. He is also diabetic and regularly spends a big part of his pension on medicine and treatment. He told us he would appreciate a blood pressure monitor to help him measure his blood pressure at home.
More information on hypertension needed
He said: "I'm happy to know that such events are being organised in our village. I have friends who never go for a medical check up because they don't trust health workers. This is why there should be more information campaigns and free medical tests."
In Cazangic village, even the Mayor came to get his blood pressure checked. Mrs Ana, a 78 years old woman, found out about the event from a volunteer from the NGO Avante.
She said: "I am old and I don't know when I need to go to the health centre. I had headaches but I only found out today that it is due to hypertension. The doctor invited me to take part in a lecture and gave me some brochures."
She has since been prescribed treatment and informed that she can benefit from subsidised medicines.
Low pensions, high costs of medical treatment
In Lapusna village, the local doctor Mrs Efimia Nistor said: "I'm very happy that we were selected to organise the blood pressure check up and that we have identified new patients.
"This kind of activity is very efficient as a prevention measure. I'm very thankful for the new blood pressure monitors. The ones we had were outdated and very difficult to use."
She also mentioned that low pensions and salaries, the high cost of medicines and poor health education were major causes of poor health.
This year HelpAge in Moldova was nominated for the "Health Awards" organised by the Ministry of Health and ProSanatate, which proves the increasing impact of HelpAge's health work in Moldova.