India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI)

Published on - May 14, 2022

Source: The Hindu

Why in News?

According to a project called the India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI), nearly 23% out of 2.1 million Indians have uncontrolled blood pressure.

Managing blood pressure for 2.5 crore individuals can prevent up to five lakh deaths due to cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years.

What is Hypertension?


Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the body’s arteries, the major blood vessels in the body.

Hypertension is when blood pressure is too high.

It is defined as having systolic blood pressure level greater than or equal to 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure level greater than or equal to 90 mmHg or/and taking anti-hypertensive medication to lower his/her blood pressure.


Southern States have a higher prevalence of hypertension than the national average.

Kerala (32.8% men and 30.9% women) has the highest number followed by Telangana.

21.3% of women and 24% of men aged above 15 have hypertension in the country.

WHO Response:

In 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a new guideline on the pharmacological treatment of hypertension in adults.

The publication provides evidence-based recommendations for the initiation of treatment of hypertension, and recommended intervals for follow-up.

What is the IHCI?

The programme was launched in November 2017.

In the first year, IHCI covered 26 districts across five States — Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra.

By December 2020, IHCI was expanded to 52 districts across ten States — Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal.

The Health Ministry, the Indian Council of Medical Research, State Governments, and WHO-India began a five-year initiative to monitor and treat hypertension.

India has committed to a "25 by 25" goal.

The goal aims to reduce premature mortality due to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) by 25% by 2025.

One of the nine voluntary targets includes reducing the prevalence of high blood pressure by 25% by 2025.