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Accelerating Solutions to Hypertension Management in Kenya

On 21 March, the World Heart Federation and our member the Kenya Cardiac Society held a roundtable on Accelerating Solutions to Hypertension Management at the Crowne Plaza in Nairobi. The roundtable brought together energetic speakers and engaged participants from the Ministry of Health & county health directorates, primary health care, civil society, the private sector, academia, and faith-based organizations. The meeting focused on overcoming barriers for an effective management of hypertension in Kenya by using the World Heart Federation’s and PASCAR’s Roadmaps as blueprints.

The roundtable was part of Building Solutions to Patient Challenges in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), a stakeholder collaboration event involving the World Heart Federation, the NCD Alliance, PATH, and Access Accelerated that aimed to drive action and develop sustainable solutions around critical issues related to NCD prevention and treatment in Kenya. 

An engaged audience discussed challenges of and solutions for managing hypertension

“The prevalence of hypertension burden is increasing in Kenya, with one inhabitant out of four affected. An estimated 75 percent of Kenyans who live with hypertension do not know they suffer from it, and only four percent are controlled,” said Prof. Ogola, PASCAR Secretary General, in his opening remarks.

Speakers and participants did not shy away from tackling challenging issues and asking hard questions. This is because hypertension is the biggest cause of preventable death and a significant risk factor for cardiovascular events such stroke and heart failure. It impacts public health and economies alike, entailing direct costs for health systems and substantial productivity losses. Hypertension is also one of the most cost-effective and impactful conditions to treat; lowering blood pressure leads to 35-40 percent reduction in the risk of stroke and to 20-25 percent reduction in the risk of myocardial infarction and heart failure.

In discussing challenges and proposing solutions, the roundtable participants harnessed their diverse perspectives and experiences. Highlights of the discussions include putting people at the centre, collecting, acting on & feeding the right data back to the community, creating an enabling environment for public-private partnerships, and thinking creatively about financing for healthcare.

A Call to Action for people living with hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases

The roundtable concluded with a Call to Action which translated the day’s lessons into four key points:

  1. Empower people living with NCDs
  2. Establish a national registry for NCDs
  3. Create an enabling environment for task sharing in CVD management
  4. Tax unhealthy commodities and allocate those revenues to healthcare for people living with NCDs

The roundtable was a success but our work together is just beginning. Join us in sustaining momentum for the call to action and advancing cardiovascular health in Kenya.

Read the Access Accelerated Day 1 review of the meeting

More pictures here