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Call to Make Youth Free from Risks of Hypertension and Heart Diseases

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The prevalence of hypertension and heart diseases among youths in Bangladesh is increasing alarmingly. Consumption of unhealthy and trans-fat-laden food, lifestyles lacking sports and physical activities, tobacco use and obesity, etc. are reasons behind the increased risks of such diseases among youths. Speakers shared this information today on Saturday, 13 August 2022 at a webinar titled “Hypertension, Heart Diseases and Our Youths” marking International Youth Day 2022 organized by research and advocacy organization PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) with support from Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI).

It was informed at the webinar that hypertension causes increased risks of heart diseases and related mortalities. It is quite alarming that one in every five adults in Bangladesh has hypertension. Note that according to the Population and Housing Census 2022, the total number of youths in Bangladesh is currently 45.9 million. Hypertension care and supply of drugs must be ensured at all primary healthcare centers to safeguard youths. In addition, a concerted effort from government bodies as well as civil society organizations is necessary to build mass awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyle habits i.e., abstaining from consuming excessive salt, avoiding fast food and trans-fat-laden foods, abstaining from using tobacco, regularly engaging in physical activities and exercise and workouts, etc. The government was urged at the webinar to implement the “Controlling Trans Fatty Acids in Foodstuffs Regulations, 2021” in order to combat the risks of heart diseases owed to trans fat intake.

GHAI Bangladesh Country Lead Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, Professor at the National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh Dr. Sohel Reza Choudhury, Program Manager-1 of the Non-Communicable Disease Control (NCDC) Program of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Fazla Alahi Khan, Cardiologist and Consultant at the Labaid Specialized Hospital Dr. Sumanta Kumer Saha, President of Bangladesh Health Reporters’ Forum and Senior Correspondent at the Daily Amader Somoy Rashed Rabbi, and Executive Director of PROGGA ABM Zubair were present at the webinar as discussants. The webinar was conducted by PROGGA’s Coordinator Mahmud Al Islam Shihab. Youth representatives and people of diversified socio-economic strata from all over the country participated in the webinar.

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