Firm reiterates committment to tackle hypertension, diseases in Africa
A global science-led biopharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca through its innovative programme, Healthy Heart Africa (HHA), has reiterated it commitment in tackling hypertension and the rising burden of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Africa.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), hypertension affects one in three adults worldwide and Africa has the highest prevalence of hypertension in any region, with the number of adults suffering from high blood pressure in sub-Saharan Africa projected to reach 216.8 million by 2030.
WHO added that in 2019, more than one million deaths were due to CVDs in sub-Saharan Africa, which constituted 5.4 per cent of all global CVD related deaths and 13 per cent of all deaths in Africa.
To this end, AstraZeneca commemorate the World Heart Day and nine years of impact in the fight against hypertension and decrease in CVDs NCDs.The commemoration with a webinar took a stock of achievements to date and discussed the future strategies to tackle the rising burden of CVDs and NCDs across Africa.
The discussion featured insights on the role of public-private partnerships in supporting primary healthcare, drawing on lessons from the HHA programme.
Programmes Division of NCD prevention and control, Ministry of Health Kenya, Dr. Yvette Kisaka said: “We need to strengthen health systems to achieve Universal Health Coverage, as envisioned by Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3) on good health and wellbeing. That is why, together with partners, we are developing strategies such as the National Guidelines for the Management of Cardiovascular Diseases.
“We applaud the HHA programme’s pivotal role in the fight against cardiovascular disease in Kenya and continue to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure a healthier future for our citizens.”
Senior Director of Corporate Affairs for the Middle East & Africa Region at AstraZeneca, Qutaiba Al Manaseer said: “Healthy Heart Africa demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships in delivering sustainable solutions that strengthen the resilience of local health systems.
“We will continue collaborating with stakeholders to tackle the silent killer that is hypertension and to improve patient outcomes.” Panellists at the webinar include; representatives from Ministries of Health in implementing countries and programme partners, including PATH, Population Services International (PSI), Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), African Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP), and Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau (UPMB).
According to the firm, since its inception in 2014, the HHA programme has conducted over 38.5 million blood pressure screenings; diagnosed over 3.1 million people; trained over 10,600 healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, community health volunteers and pharmacists to provide education and awareness, screening and treatment services; and activated over 1,300 healthcare facilities to provide hypertension services.
The programme, it said, is on track to achieve its ambition of reaching 10 million people with elevated blood pressure by 2025, with 7.7 million readings recorded so far.
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