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Ethiopia’s health ministry unveils AstraZeneca’s health programme to fight Hypertension

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Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health in collaboration with AstraZeneca has launched Healthy Heart Africa (HHA) programme in Ethiopia as it seeks to tackle hypertension through the ministry’s framework Strategy for combating Non-Communicable Diseases.

The programme will initially be rolled out in 7 regions and 48 sites.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of non-communicable disease (NCD)-related mortality in Africa. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the main risk factors for CVD, and it is estimated to affect nearly half of adults aged 25 and older across the region.

Launched in 2014, Healthy Heart Africa seeks to provide access to medicines programme and works to tackle a silent killer in parts of the world where access to healthcare is at its lowest.

The Ministry of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Thursday said it will now focus on tackling the disease as a key contributor to the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in the country.

The Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AstraZeneca to provide a formal partnership framework paving the way for the launch and implementation of the Healthy Heart Africa (HHA) Programme which is structured around three key pillars.

The MoU is further expected to strengthen nationwide awareness, prevention, control and treatment of hypertension targeting healthcare workers to optimize performance and to drive hypertension care to lower levels of the Healthcare System.

Facilitating conditions for easier and more accessible diagnosis so that people can prevent and control the disease before it leads to complications.

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“Ethiopia has made great strides in its fight against communicable diseases and are now using our learning and investments, to tackle non-communicable diseases.

We believe that addressing the burden of hypertension through enhanced diagnosis, treatment and training, we will achieve, even surpass the goals set out on our NCD strategy.

Today we officially launch AstraZeneca’s Healthy Heart Africa programme in Ethiopia and look forward to working together to make a difference across the country,” said Federal Minister of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu during the programme’s launch.

HHA was launched in October 2014 in Kenya and has since conducted Hypertension screenings in Kenya using over 250 facilities across the EAC nation.

To date over 2,600 healthcare workers across 21 counties have been trained by HHA with the first 25,000 patients with high blood pressure benefiting from their diagnostic examinations. HHA has diagnosed close to 150,000 patients with the disease.

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