The federal government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in collaboration with AstraZeneca and Population Services International (PSI) Nigeria, on Thursday launched the Healthy Heart Africa (HHA) programme to tackle the increasing rate of hypertension in the country.
Nigeria is the ninth country implementing the HHA in Africa since 2014- following Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Rwanda.
A systematic review and multi-study data analysis of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors conducted in 2018, found that nearly one-third (1/3) of Nigerians have hypertension. Other studies revealed that more than half of people with the disease in Nigeria are unaware they have it.
Meanwhile, the minister of health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has expressed the ministry’s vision to reduce the burden of NCDs in the country and to strengthen the health system for the delivery of equitable services through the Essential Package of Health Services (EPHS).
To achieve this, he said “We acknowledge partnerships as one of our strategic focus areas. The HHA programme will contribute to attaining our objective of orienting the health system towards addressing prevention and control of NCDs at all levels of care and by integrating them into our primary healthcare system. It will also play a role in evaluating the prevalence of NCDs through data recording.”
The vice president, Global Sustainability and Access to Healthcare, at AstraZeneca, Ashling Mulvaney, said: “In the face of a growing hypertension burden, I would like to commend the steps that the Federal Ministry of Health and the NPHCDA have taken to tackle the burden of the disease in Nigeria, such as establishing the National Multisectoral Action Plan (NMSAP) for the Prevention of NCDs.