AstraZeneca promises to reduce hypertension in Africa


To mark the World Hypertension Day, AstraZeneca, a global science-led pharmaceutical organisation, has committed itself to addressing the hypertension burden in Africa.

‘In Africa, less than 10% of the 80 million patients have access to treatment and will continue the crusade by supporting the development of Healthy Heart Africa.’

Mr Tarek Rabah, the Area Vice President of AstraZeneca, Middle East and Africa, in a statement on Tuesday, said Healthy Heart Africa would strengthen healthcare capabilities to provide life-long care for patients living with hypertension as part of the campaign launched in Kenya on Tuesday.

Healthy Heart Africa is AstraZeneca’s access programme aimed at tackling the burden of hypertension and reducing cardiovascular related deaths with a goal to reaching 10 million patients across sub-Saharan Africa by 2025.

‘To mark this year’s World Hypertension Day, AstraZeneca and its partners are sharing information on the disease through screening and creation of more centres and affordable treatments across Africa all aimed at expanding the programme beyond borders.

‘The prevalence of hypertension in Africa is the highest in the world, yet it is preventable, relatively easy to diagnose and treatable.

‘Through our unwavering efforts with our partners to improve education, raise awareness and increase access, we are confident that we have the right model to address the world’s largest silent killer,’ Mr Rabah said.

Designed in consultation with international and community-based organisations, health experts and governments, Mr Rabah said Healthy Heart Africa was a flexible approach that could be adapted to strengthen and broaden healthcare systems across Africa.

He said AstraZeneca had identified and established new entry points to address other communicable and non-communicable diseases such as HIV, cancer and diabetes.

Healthy Heart Africa is structured across pillars including education, awareness, access and affordability.

Mr Rabah said for education and awareness the programme aimed at increasing awareness of risk factors associated with hypertension such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.

It is also structured on training and guidelines by developing and providing educational materials and training support for health and community care workers to ensure improved knowledge and consistent levels of quality and care.

Mr Rabah said on access and affordability, the organisation aimed to establish and strengthen innovative health systems through integration to existing platforms to ensure comprehensive screening services and a range of hypertension medication at reduced prices.

Since the launch of Healthy Heart Africa in October 2014, AstraZeneca and its partners had supported development of a treatment protocol to treat hypertension at the primary care level and in complex settings.

It has screened more than one million people and has identified 150,000 people living with this condition.

The organisation had also trained more than 3,000 healthcare workers to provide proper screening and treatment services and activated 403 health facilities to provide hypertension services.

This story was sourced from the Ghana Web website.


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