To celebrate world heart day, mPharma launched the Hypertension Test and Treat program (HTT) to support the prevention and control of hypertension in Africa. Heart disease is one of the greatest causes of premature death in Africa.The World Health Organization estimates that the prevalence of hypertension is highest in the African region, with about 46% of adults aged 25 years and older being hypertensive compared to 35% in the Americas and other HIC, and 40% elsewhere in the world. Hypertension is of public health importance in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in urban areas, with evidence of considerable under-diagnosis, treatment, and control. There is an urgent need to develop strategies to prevent, detect, treat, and control hypertension according to a research by Julliet Addo et al.
The HTT program will be delivered through the company’s network of mutti pharmacies in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia with plans to expand the service to other countries. The program would aim to identify different classes of people, those who are at risk for hypertension, those who are about to develop hypertension and those who are already living with hypertension. The objectives would be to prevent, detect and control as earlier stated.
Speaking at the launch of the programme in Nigeria, Dr. Olagoke Ewedairo, VP of Health Services at mPharma, said the hypertension test and treat program is a service which aims to promote the early detection of hypertension, prompt treatment and prevention of complications such as hypertensive heart disease, kidney failure etc. which are on the rise despite being preventable. The service includes a private consultation to review your medical history, current medications, determine your cardiovascular risk level and provide tailored lifestyle modification strategies to improve your health and wellbeing. In addition, a range of diagnostic tests would be available, all of these is to ensure you have a healthy heart.
Dr. Hafeez Oluwa, the Global Primary Care Manager at mPharma said that the company is taking a different approach to dealing with hypertension, going further than just helping people who have already developed the condition to identifying people who are at risk of hypertension and collaborating with them to prevent the development of the disease. “The passive approach has just led to numbers rising exponentially. We need to think more about primary prevention as we deal with hypertension with health promotion. If we start implementing lifestyle changes at an earlier stage, we may prevent more diagnosis of hypertension”, he said speaking at the launch.
The program has been rolled out in stages, the first stage was using the ongoing diabetes program at mPharma, Diabetes Test and Treat, which has helped over 3000 patients achieve optimal glycemic control become more aware of their risk of developing hypertension and helping those who have been diagnosed be more adherent to their medication.
The second stage was identifying people living with hypertension around our communities and deploying health education and coaching to help them control their blood pressure. Mr. Dominic, a beneficiary of the program, said he was happy with the initiative as he was able to get more insights into some of the things he had been doing that was preventing him from getting better. He wanted mPharma to do more in making sure many more people like him have access to this initiative.
The Program in its final form will include more people in its target audience including people identified at being at risk of hypertension. It would be available in Kenya as a subscription service available for purchase through mPharma mutti pharmacies and in subsequent months in other countries. The program is inline with mPharma’s vision of providing accessible and affordable care to patients in vulnerable communities across Africa by transforming its mutti pharmacies into primary healthcare centers.
The hypertension test and treat service launches at select mutti pharmacies in Nigeria effective today. Patients can visit any of mPharma mutti pharmacies to check their blood pressure for free and discuss their eligibility program.
mPharma plans to expand the hypertension test and treat service to all 500 locations of mutti branches over time as the company’s ultimate aim is to make every African in good health and to contribute their quota to making universal healthcare coverage available to all.