BMC to roll out fixed drug combination to combat hypertension | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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BMC to roll out fixed drug combination to combat hypertension

BySomita Pal
Feb 07, 2023 12:33 AM IST

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to roll out a new treatment protocol called ‘Fixed Drug Combination’ (FDC) for hypertension patients to improve treatment adherence

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to roll out a new treatment protocol called ‘Fixed Drug Combination’ (FDC) for hypertension patients to improve treatment adherence.

HT Image
HT Image

The change in the protocol is said to be one of the several steps taken by the civic body post-pandemic to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes and hypertension.

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Dr Sanjeev Kumar, additional municipal commissioner, BMC said, “During the Covid-19 pandemic, patients with NCDs were the most affected. We are rolling out several programmes for better management of NCDs. One of them is the change in the treatment protocol. With the fixed drug combination protocol, we expect better compliance from patients.”

According to the BMC officials, a meeting of consultants and the medicine department head of four BMC-run tertiary hospitals was held in December 2022 where the need for change in the treatment protocol was decided.

Dr Daksha Shah, deputy health officer, BMC, said the FDC will be primarily focused on hypertension control.

“We follow a stepwise protocol wherein a patient is first given a medicine and in case the blood pressure is still not maintained, the dose is stepped up. The dose will be a two-drug combination. With the fixed drug combination, multiple tablet prescriptions will be avoided,” she said. Dr Shah added that the drugs are being procured and soon will be available in BMC hospitals/dispensaries.

Welcoming the decision, Dr Prafulla Kerkar, former head of the cardiology department at KEM Hospital said that the FDC has been available for a while in the private sector.

“It is good that FDC is being rolled out in BMC hospitals. When multiple tablets are prescribed, patients tend to forget to take them. Patient compliance and adherence to the tablets are easier by mixing drugs. It will help in faster control of blood pressure,” he added.

As per the National Family Health Survey-5, one in every four individuals has hypertension and one in every five has diabetes in Mumbai. As per a recent WHO STEPS survey by the BMC, hypertension was found in 34% individuals, while diabetes was found in 18% individuals in the city.

“A lot of deaths were reported during the pandemic among diabetes and hypertension patients, who are not only at high risk of premature death but also can develop complications like cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease and eye problems. We are creating awareness so that people who are 30 and above, screen themselves for these two NCDs once a year at least. If diagnosed with NCD, take medicines and follow up along with diet and lifestyle modification,” Dr Shah added.

The BMC has started hypertension (HT) and diabetes mellitus (DM) special screening centres in 16 hospitals. It will be expanded to other public hospitals. The BMC through its primary health care system will undertake screening of individuals above 30 years for hypertension with the help of CHVs and ASHAs through house-to-house visits in slum and slum-like areas. Those above 30 years (47%) will be screened in the next one year. Every Wednesday will be dedicated to the screening.

“Currently, we have 3,700 ASHA workers and plan to hire 5,000 more. They are trained to read BP and fill out forms to capture risk factors like smoking or alcohol consumption, obesity and exercise regime. They are supposed to refer suspects to the nearby dispensary and also follow up with them,” Dr Shah said.

Dr Kumar added that the corporation’s target is to bring 50% of estimated hypertension patients under the care and achieve 50% follow up and control rate.

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