CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank helps the Heart & Stoke Foundation of Barbados (HSFB) for their home blood pressure drive

(CLICK FOR BIGGER) This 1st phase examines how best to assist high risk patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's resistant hypertension clinic.

(CLICK FOR BIGGER) This 1st phase examines how best to assist high risk patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s resistant hypertension clinic.

Over the past year I have become more aware of the prevalence of hypertension in Barbados. Late last year I heard a newscast on the radio one night that spoke about the dangers of high blood pressure and the idea of having a blood pressure machine in every household in Barbados to allow people to be able to better monitor their blood pressure at home. With the high incidence of unregulated hypertension in Barbados it sounded like a great idea and I asked my team to find out more about it.

Ironically enough, there was little information out there and with all the places we called, no one seem to be able to shed light on the information that I had heard, until I even began to doubt myself that the project existed. Then, an article appeared in the Advocate newspaper just after Christmas and quoted Dr. Kenneth Connell, so my team set off to pursue him and find out some more about this initiative.

Now fast forward to today, when we are here to present 45 blood pressure machines to the Heart and Stroke Foundation for use in the QEH’s resistant hypertension clinic. These machines are to be presented to high risk patients who need to be monitored at home so that they keep track of their readings on a daily basis.

We at CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank, through our ComTrust Foundation, thought that this blood-pressure-machine-in -every-household was a very great idea as we strive to educate Barbadians on the dangers of not controlling chronic diseases and the importance of careful monitoring.

About 2 years ago CIBC FirstCaribbean assisted the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with the set up of a special ward to assist persons suffering from strokes, since at that time, we were told that Barbados experienced the alarming figure of something like 45 strokes per month. We trust that the set up of that ward has helped to save some lives and reduce the incidence of strokes here in Barbados.

In like manner, we are trusting that the presentation of these blood pressure machines will be of valuable help to those at risk and make them more aware, daily, of what they need to do to control their blood pressure to avoid the stroke unit.

At the Bank, we are very aware of the chronic non-communicable diseases and how they affect the people in the communities in which we operate and we will do what we can to help reduce the incidence of people affected by these diseases. We plan to spread the word among our staff to encourage them to have a good work life balance, eat well and get their exercise, through our corporate internal newsletter. And, as the Executive, to demonstrate this by leading by example.

We want to thank Andrew Watson of the Summit Centre for responding so speedily to our request to secure the machines in quick time and to Dr. Kenneth Connell, for your initiative and overseeing the process for us to reach this stage. I am sure that you will manage the distribution of these machines to ensure that they reach the households of your high risk patients and this will kick- start the initiative, as we encourage Barbadians to get a Blood pressure machine in their own households so that they can effectively monitor their blood pressure and help to alleviate the prevalence of high blood pressure and hypertension in Barbados.

Presentation of Blood Pressure Machines to Heart & Stroke Foundation – Appreciation by Donna Wellington

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