AstraZeneca, a Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Company, over the past years, has partnered with governments in nine African countries and health agencies to implement the Healthy Heart Africa (HHA) programme.
The programme is targeted at addressing the issues of hypertension, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Mr Deepak Arora, Interim Country President, Africa Cluster, AstraZeneca, speaking at a virtual event to commemorate the 2023 World Heart Day on the theme: “Use Heart, Know Heart” assured stakeholders of their commitment to tackling cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), across the African continent through the HHA programme.
The programme has in less than a decade conducted over 38.5 million blood pressure screenings, diagnosed over 3.1 million people, and trained over 10,600 healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, community health volunteers and pharmacists to provide education and awareness.
He said the programme had activated over 1,300 healthcare facilities to provide hypertension screening and treatment services as well as other CVD services.
He said the alarming statistical data on the increasing burden of CVDs across Africa which informed the design of HHA to contribute to the prevention and control of the menace has doubled, hence, the decision to intensify and expand the Programme to reach more people.
“Healthy Heart Africa is central to our commitment to sustainability and improving access to healthcare, as we put patients first today and, in the future,” he added.
Launched in 2014, the programme is committed to tackling hypertension and the increasing burden of cardiovascular disease, with the ambition to reach 10 million people with elevated blood pressure across Africa by 2025,” he said.
Dr Robert Yeboah, Senior Technical Advisor, Non-Communicable Diseases, Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH Ghana) said Ghana had been implementing the HHA programme over the past four years and the impact had been enormous.
He said the HHA Programme empowered people living with hypertension, diabetes, CVDs and NCDs as well as persons with disabilities (PWDs) with vital information relating to signs and symptoms, need for regular check-ups, personal health titbits, and adherence to regular drug patterns among others through awareness and sensitization programmes.
The Senior Technical Advisor said PATH would continue to partner with the Ghana Health Service to increase awareness and education of CVDs.