The focus for maintaining a healthy body and life must not depend solely on the experience and expertise of a physician or the competence of a nurse but primarily on you the individual. That was the message at the first ever Hypertension Project organized under the VIM Health Outreach Program for the Ghanaian Community in Tracy Towers -Bronx USA. Leading the discussion on Hypertension the President/ CEO of VIM Ms Felicia Agyei-Odame, urged the community not to take the passenger seat when it comes to their health rather they should be “champions of their own health.”
She encouraged community members to be vocal when it comes to matters of their health and challenged them to pay attention and understand how their body functions in order for them to be proactive partners with their physician to device ways to better care for them.
Dubbed as the silent killer, hypertension has almost no signs and symptoms at the onset and it is the number two leading risk for death second to tobacco use with alcohol trailing right behind it according to the 2002 World Health Organization report. “Unfortunately, people of African descent have a higher prevalence rate than any other race in the world. That is why VIM chose Hypertension to launch its Health Outreach Program to raise awareness, ignite curiosity and start the conversation to minimize the prevalence and possibly eradicate the disease from our community”.
Members of the Ghanaian community in Tracy Towers on their part, shared their opinion on hypertension, and enthusiastically took the pledge to be champions of their health. The Vice president of the community commended VIM for the project and invited them to come again to host Blood Pressure screening for all the members.
In her closing remarks, Ms. Felicia added that “as a community oriented organization committed to changing perspectives within the African community -Volunteer, Inspire, Make a Difference (VIM) have been built on the principles of collective efforts and the believe that we all can effect positive change if we enthusiastically play our part”.
She says, VIM is motivated to building a sense of forward thinking and positive mindedness in the African youth, stating their mission to address the challenges of the African continent through education, awareness creation, volunteerism, and knowledge sharing as a means of providing solution options for communities to realize how best their members can be viable assets to their development.