NWU staff support blood pressure awareness

Joining the worldwide campaign to raise blood pressure awareness in May, NWU members of staff participated in a series of screenings at the university’s campuses and in surrounding communities. This was part of the largest screening campaign ever.


May was International Blood Pressure Month and 17 May was International Blood Pressure Day.


International Blood Pressure Month is a worldwide screening initiative that highlights the need for increased blood pressure awareness.


The aim is to measure the blood pressure of 25 million people globally to find out just how big the problem is. In South Africa various blood pressure awareness drives have been launched to encourage everyone over 18 to have their blood pressure checked.


Potchefstroom screening sites included the Ingryp Centre, Health Centre, Wellness Centre and the Hypertension Clinic of the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART).


In Mahikeng, blood pressure screenings were conducted at the campus’s Great Hall on 31 May. In Vanderbijlpark, screening took place on 24 May at the lapa at the campus.

Who’s who at the NWU


The NWU’s Prof Ruan Kruger and Prof Angela Woodiwiss of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) are managing the South African campaign. Ruan is the current chair of the New Investigator Committee of the International Society of Hypertension, and serves on the board of directors of the Southern African Hypertension Society (SAHS). He works within the HART research entity, and is affiliated with the Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease Extramural Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council.


Ruan says high blood pressure is one of the most reported causes of death in South Africa. “It is also an enormous problem on a global scale. Every year, 10 million people worldwide die from chronic high blood pressure because of strokes, heart attacks or something caused by the condition. Almost half of those people never knew they had high blood pressure. This could have been prevented by having blood pressure regularly checked so that healthier choices to promote longevity can be made.”