Project Lead(s): Julius Kamwesiga
Hypertension is a largely unrecognized epidemic in Africa. The number of hypertensive patients in 2008 and 2025 is estimated at 74.7 million and 125.5 million, respectively – a 68% increase. Because the majority of Africa is affected by poor health infrastructure and low numbers of health workers, attempts to prevent and treat hypertension are nearly non-existent. Given the urgency in scaling up resources to inform how hypertension prevention and treatment should be implemented, it is important to recognize where rapid scale-up of health infrastructure has previously occurred and work with effective infrastructure to reach the target populations.
The response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa is the most high-profile and effective infrastructure scale-up that has occurred for any chronic disease. By utilizing the lessons learned in HIV/ AIDS, we can effectively reach out to large populations for hypertension screening, prevention, treatment, and retention.
This project involves investigators from Canada, South Africa, Uganda and Rwanda, all national leaders in hypertension, HIV/AIDS, generic drug formulations, supply chain management, and randomized evaluations. The team will test the effectiveness of mass screening campaigns, determine health system requirements, develop capacity building systems, evaluate the epidemiology, create awareness and work on a model to effectively treat and retain hypertension.