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
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
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.
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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
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
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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