For many years in October the Stroke Foundation, Rotary and many Foodstuff’s supermarkets partnered together to carry out over 13,500 high blood pressure tests throughout New Zealand. On average around 16% of those tested are referred on to their GP as they have a high blood pressure reading.
High Blood Pressure is one of the leading causes of a stroke but can be managed and controlled which is why getting a regular check is important to reduce stroke and other health risks. It can therefore be seen that the testing carried out by the partners can be lifesaving.
In 2020 Rotarians in D9930 we would have been participating at 13 Pak’n Save and New World sites.
Unfortunately due to Covid 19 the programme was postponed and a revised system will operate from 2021.
Our involvement to date has been to contact the sites, which had already agreed to participate with the Stroke Foundation, to arrange layout of a suitable area within the supermarket with tables and chairs provided by the supermarket and to affix posters advertising the event in a place approved by the staff. On the day we encouraged customers to have their readings taken and we completed the necessary paperwork which was provided by the Stroke Foundation.  When the testing was complete we assisted the breakdown and tidied the area. The Stroke Foundation arranged for BP testing personnel to be present to do the actual testing.
From 2021 there is a change of procedures for most sites as the Stroke Foundation has purchased “Blood Pressure” vans which are touring the country with two BP testing personnel and they will be parking in the car-parks and our possible role will be to arrange with the supermarket for the affixing of posters, to direct customers in their direction and to complete paperwork.  The vans will operate mostly during weekdays.  The final arrangements have yet to be made and the Stroke Foundation will advise Rotary closer to a yet to be defined start date when decisions have been made.
We will keep clubs informed well in advance.
Ken Haines
(Stortford Lodge)
District Co-ordinator Blood Pressure Campaign