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Top Pharmacy company committed to reducing hypertension in Africa

17 May 2016, 19:08

Nairobi - AstraZeneca has renewed commitment to addressing the hypertension burden in Africa with its Healthy Heart Africa initiative aimed at bringing succor to over 80 million patients in the continent with low access to treatment.

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

To mark this year’s World Hypertension Day, AstraZeneca and its partners disclosed that since the launch of the programme, there has been an increase in screening centers and affordable treatments across Kenya, and the company is determined to expand 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,” said Tarek Rabah, Area Vice President, AstraZeneca Middle East and Africa in a statement made available to news24.

“With Healthy Heart Africa, we aim to strengthen healthcare capabilities to provide life-long care for patients living with hypertension. 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”, he emphasized.

Designed in consultation with international and community-based organizations, health experts and governments, Healthy Heart Africa is a flexible approach that can be adapted to strengthen and broaden healthcare systems across Africa. As a result, AstraZeneca has identified and established new entry points to address other communicable and non-communicable diseases such as HIV, cancer and diabetes.

Also read: Worker steals millions from Akwa Ibom pharmacy

Healthy Heart Africa is structured to Increase awareness of risk factors associated with hypertension such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, Enhance prevention by increasing screening services and treatment facilities in accessible areas such as churches, marketplaces and workplaces.

It encompasses programmes to develop and provide educational materials and training support for health and community care workers to ensure improved knowledge and consistent levels of quality and care.

Another key pillar is 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 Kenya in October 2014, AstraZeneca and the partners have supported development of a treatment protocol to define and treat hypertension at the primary care level and in complex settings, screened more than 1 million people and have identified 150,000 people living with this condition.  Three thousand healthcare workers have also been trained under the platform to provide proper screening and treatment services including the activation of 403 health facilities to provide hypertension services.

AstraZeneca’s aspiration is to ensure that patients across Africa with hypertension are receiving quality treatments to manage their condition in support of World Health Organization’s “25 by 25” NCD Global Monitoring Framework to prevent and control non-communicable diseases.

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- News24


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