FAQs for community volunteers
If you’re interested in becoming a community volunteer and help us deliver May Measurement Month, here are some FAQs to help you find out more…
What is May Measurement Month?
May Measurement Month is a worldwide screening initiative led by the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and World Hypertension League (WHL) aimed at highlighting the need for increased blood pressure awareness.
This is important because — as may already know — hypertension kills more people per year (nearly 10 million around the world) than any other single cause and represents the biggest contributing risk factor to the global burden of disease.
We know that many people are unaware that they have high blood pressure and some only find out after they suffer a heart attack or stroke, or are diagnosed with something else, such as heart or kidney disease, or dementia.
Or — far worse — they die never knowing that just having their blood pressure measured could have saved their lives.
By measuring as many people as possible and finding out just how big the ‘hidden hypertension’ problem is, we aim to demonstrate to governments across the world why they need to raise public awareness and provide us all with better blood pressure screening facilities and treatment.
May Measurement Month will run for the first time from 1-31 May 2017 and builds on the WHL’s established World Hypertension Day which takes place every year on 17 May. Our aim is to establish May Measurement Month as an annual event that will grow in stature and reach year on year.
How will May Measurement Month work?
During May 2017, our goal is to screen millions of adults aged 18 and over across the world. We are primarily focused on people who have not had their blood pressure measured since April 2016.
We are using a simple process, with measurements recorded using a specially-designed app. Screenings will take place at a range of centres such as pharmacies, workplaces, shopping centres and clinics, and will be carried out by volunteers from a medical background.
Key among our screening centre volunteers will be doctors, nurses, and medical students.
It’s anticipated we’ll identify a significant number of new cases of hypertension during May Measurement Month 2017 and we are confident their systolic measurements can be lowered by an average of 10 mmHg just by our volunteers helping them seek the right treatment, so saving thousands of major adverse cardiovascular events.
We are now looking for volunteers who share our vision and would like to help us deliver May Measurement Month at their local screening centre.
How are you using the May Measurement Month data?
The project offers a unique opportunity to collate data from multiple locations and will provide unprecedented insight at global, national, and regional level, as well as generating unique statistics based on gender, age and ethnicity.
We envisage several major pieces of research arising from May Measurement Month, with publication in leading medical journals, including at least one paper in The Lancet.
If I get involved, how will May Measurement Month benefit my community?
We are providing all our screening centres with new automatic BP machines free of charge, and these can be left on site for future use in your community outside May Measurement Month.
And what about long-term benefits?
We hope to use the data we collect during May Measurement Month to help fast-track the development of an affordable, single-pill, two-drug combination of blood pressure lowering agents to give sustainable support in those countries where this type of medication is not currently available.
I’m interested! What do I do next?
Please check who is leading May Measurement Month in your country, let them know you want to get involved, and they’ll put you in touch with your local organiser. It’s as simple as that!
We look forward to welcoming you to the May Measurement Month team!