Healthcare in low- and middle-income countries is poorly prepared for the increasing number of people with high blood pressure, with more than two-thirds of people affected going without treatment – a new study reveals.
Researchers studied health data for one million people in the Global South, discovering that less than half of those affected are diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension. Of these patients, only 30% are treated and only 10% have the disease under control.
The research team analysed the healthcare of hypertension in 44 countries. Using a cascade of care approach, which looked at the numbers of people with hypertension who had been screened, diagnosed, treated, and controlled, they determined how well the health systems of the various countries are treating people with hypertension.
University of Birmingham researchers worked with colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Göttingen and the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg, publishing their findings in The Lancet.
Justine Davies, Professor of Global Health at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, comments: “Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known from other studies to be prevalent in lower and middle income countries.
“Our research adds by showing that care in these countries is not able to match the number of people who need treatment. This is a particular problem as without treatment there is a considerable risk of complications – including stroke and death.
“It is not all bad news though. We found that some countries – like Costa Rica, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan and Peru – are doing much better than expected, and it is important to look in more depth at those countries and learn from their success.”
The group carried out its research using surveys including the World Health Organisation’s STEPS survey – which uses a uniform approach to obtain data on established risk factors.
“Our study shows not only that care for hypertension in these countries is severely inadequate, but also where exactly patients are being lost in the treatment system,” says Pascal Geldsetzer, postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and first author of the study.
Dr. Mary Mayige, Principle Research Scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research in Tanzania and co-author of the study, commented: “There is an urgent need to strengthen the healthcare system for chronic disease care in low income countries. This includes improving information systems and increased financing to ensure universal access across the continuum from preventive interventions to tertiary health care services.”
Researchers firstly determined how many people suffered from high blood pressure. Based on this, they determined how many of these patients were examined, diagnosed and treated each time. Finally, they analysed how many patients successfully controlled the disease with medication.
“High blood pressure can be treated relatively well and cheaply, but undiagnosed or untreated hypertension represents a considerable risk for the people affected,” says Sebastian Vollmer, Professor of Development Economics at the University of Göttingen.
“High blood pressure is one of the major widespread diseases in the Global South and increasingly common as populations in these countries age. This study provides important insights for policy-makers about where in the treatment chain for hypertension the greatest problems currently lie,” adds Till Bärnighausen, Professor of Global Health at Heidelberg University Hospital and the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg.
Primary Healthcare: Oyo Govt. Engages More Medical Doctors, Renovate Facilities
• State insurance scheme to register beneficiaries online
Oyo State government has disclosed that it has extended its capacity towards engaging more medical doctors and renovate primary healthcare centers in the State to boost the State Health Insurance scheme and get more people to enroll in the programme.
The Health Insurance scheme covered many ailments at minimal cost and has enrolled almost 200,000 people of the State among whom were civil servants, organized private sector, traders and artizans..
The Executive Secretary Oyo State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Sola Akande said the scheme was committed to effective healthcare delivery in line with Governor Seyi Makinde’s health service Agenda to transform Oyo State.
Akande stated this at the public/private Health providers forum held in Ibadan over the weekend, noting that Health Insurance Scheme has come to stay in Oyo State, as enrollees (beneficiaries) have benefited immensely from the scheme since inception.
“The scheme has immensely benefited a vast majority of people in the State for the opportunity of cheap access to medical care wherever you are in the State.
“We have succeeded in reaching out to the far corners of the State with the extension of the services of the Health Insurance Scheme at the local communities through the primary healthcare services and efforts are ongoing to engage more doctors and medical personnel to boost the efforts of those already engaged and we are also working currently to renovate the facilities to further attract enrollment.”
The Executive Secretary hinted that there would be enrollment centers in each of the Local Government headquarters across the State for appreciable enrollment by the people, adding that online enrollment would be made available to make participation and engagement easier.
Dr Akande added that the Agency would continuously ensure that healthcare providers comply with necessary regulations and provisional guidelines.
In their remarks, stakeholders at the event applauded the initiative behind the scheme, promising to keep with the scheme’s rules and regulations.
Oyo Govt. Kicks Against Environmental Saboteurs In Ibadan
Oyo State Government on Saturday said it has the mandate to enforce the Environmental sanitation laws, stressing that it would henceforth wield the big stick of the law against saboteurs of Environmental exercises in the State.
The Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Rt. Hon. Kehinde Ayoola stated this while monitoring the Monthly environmental sanitation exercise observed in Ibadan, the state capital.
Speaking to some traders, the Commissioner said, “Oyo State Government is putting in so much to ensure that our environment is clean, and we would not tolerate any form of sabotage against this process. Enough is enough”.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Bashir Olanrewaju, he said the State Government was taking proactive steps to stop unhealthy waste disposal in the State through the revamping of some dump-sites.
Appealing to residents, especially traders to cooperate with the State Government, the Commissioner said, “We appeal to our people to please co-operate with the Engr. Seyi Makinde led administration. We have transited into a new waste management era and we would start experiencing community-based waste management system, which involves them playing their roles during sanitation exercises like this.”
In addition, Ayoola promised that the State Government would take seriously, the business of enforcement, saying the exercise would be extended to other parts of the State, in due course.
All we are asking for, is that our people should comply with the State Government’s laws. And we promise, that after proper check on refuse disposal in the State, Oyo State Government would take the next giant step of turning our wastes to wealth.
Though, today’s exercise did not restrict vehicular movements, traders, shops and business complexes whose goods and wares were displayed during the sanitation hours have been sanctioned.
The team of Environmental Health Officers led by the Permanent Secretary visited major markets in Ibadan such as Bodija, Oje, and Bere.
FG, US Govt Launch Special Campaign On Eradicating HIV/AIDS
The Federal Government of Nigeria and United States Government have led a campaign, code named “you equals you” aimed at eradicating the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Nigeria through active community participation.
The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Olokun Lawal and the US Deputy Chief of Mission Kathleen Fitzgibbon during the launch on Monday informed that Nigeria has made great progress in reducing HIV prevalence from 4.4 percent in 2005 to 1.4 percent in 2018.
They, however solicited support of communities to stop stigmatisation and encourage more people to know their status and be placed on treatment.
Photo credit : Channels Tv
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