The drug list update committee for community clinics has decided to include the medicines for hypertension and diabetes in the drug list of community clinics to ensure primary health care at the door steps of common people in rural areas. In a meeting of the said committee held on 14th May 2023, it was decided to include Amlodipine 5mg for hypertension and Metformin 500mg for diabetes in the drug list of community clinics. This is a major step forward in tackling the prevalence of hypertension at the grassroots level in Bangladesh.
The prevalence of hypertension and hypertension – related various non-communicable diseases and deaths are growing increasingly in Bangladesh. One in every five adults in Bangladesh suffers from hypertension. The decision to make hypertension medicines available at the community clinic level can be a cost-effective approach in this regard to ensure hypertension treatment.
It may be noted that Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) and its partners National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh and PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) have been working on hypertension control issue in Bangladesh for a long time to ensure the inclusion of anti-hypertensive drugs in the existing drug list of Community Clinics; multi-month (2 to 3 months) prescription of anti-hypertensive drugs at the Upazila Health Complex and community clinic level and to ensure necessary budget allocation in this regard.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that globally 1.28 billion people (aged 30-79 years) are suffering from hypertension, two thirds of which live in low and middle income countries. Hypertension leads to increased risks of cardiovascular diseases, stroke and kidney diseases as well as death.