In an effort to improve, hypertension prevention and control at primary health care (PHC) level, The Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Resolve to Save Lives, initiated a hypertension prevention and control project in 74 health facilities and 200 health posts in seven regions of the country.
The project was launched on July 31st, 2019 by H.E, Dr Amir Aman, Minister of Federal Ministry of Health, who in his opening speech stressed the need to improve care for patients with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) "just as there is the right to care for communicable diseases like HIV and TB, there should also be the right to care for hypertension and all other NCDs" said Dr Amin Aman, he added that the Ministry is working towards having an evidence based policy on trans-fat and reduction of sodium intake, improving management of hypertension including other NCDs and enhancing monitoring and evaluation.
The launching ceremony in Addis Ababa was attended by key stakeholders, government officials from Federal and Regional Health Bureaus, including the, Minister of Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Amir Aman, Director of Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Agency, Dr Loko Abraham, WHO Country office represented by Dr Esther Aceng-Dokotum, team lead communicable and noncommuncable diseases cluster and the President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, Dr Tom Frieden.
The current project phase runs for two years and focuses on five crucial components for effective prevention and care of hypertension; simplified and standardized protocols and algorithms for detection and control, ensuring availability of drugs, healthy lifestyle counselling including harmful effects of high salt diet, task shifting and having robust monitoring systems in place.
The hypertension prevention and control project will also serve as entry point for integrated management of NCDs at primary health care level through a health system strengthening approach.
Speaking at the event, Dr Tom Frieden, president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, pointed out that, hypertension control is still a challenge in Ethiopia, with only 1 out of every 67 hypertensive adults having it under control. However, he stated that it can be changed and the number of deaths reduced, if there is an effective prevention and care at PHC level.
Dr Esther Aceng-Dokotum, speaking on behalf of the WHO representative to Ethiopia, reaffirmed the organization's commitment to continue supporting the FMoH on the project and in the overall effort to improve care and treatment for NCDs in the country.
Hypertension is one of the major risk factors for deaths associated with cardiovascular diseases in Ethiopia, the single leading cause of death from NCDs. Hypertension affects 15.9% of the population, where only 1.5% of the hypertensives have it controlled and 2.8% are getting appropriate treatment and care.
For Additional Information or to Request Interviews, Please contact:
Dr. Fassil Shiferaw
World Health Organization, Ethiopia
Email: shiferawf [at] who.int