- What: ComHIP is a three-year programme testing an innovative healthcare model for hypertension control and self-management.
- It aims to improve the control of hypertension, by making services more accessible in the community, and empowering individuals to manage their hypertension.
- Novartis aims to scale up this approach if the results of the evaluation are positive.
- Scope: The programme is being piloted in two districts close to urban centres in Ghana.
ComHIP is being implemented by the Novartis Foundation and their partners. It is a three-year programme designed to evaluate the impact of an innovative healthcare model on hypertension control and self-management in Ghana. The goal is to improve the control of hypertension, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, by making services more accessible in the community, and empowering individuals to manage their hypertension.
Two districts in Ghana close to urban centres will be evaluated. One district will have the usual hypertension care coordinated among primary healthcare providers and pharmacists, along with specialists if needed. The other district, noted as the intervention district, will include community-based screening and care, including local private medicinal shops, along with digital health tools to support coordination between community health providers, local medicinal shops and referral services, as well as to empower patients to engage more in the management of their own health.
The shift of hypertension screening and care to the community has begun, with the inclusion of blood pressure screening opportunities at local private medicinal shops – named licensed chemical sellers (LCS) – that are typically the first stop for most people when accessing healthcare, but which are not part of the traditional healthcare system.
Patients with moderate hypertension are cared for by community-based nurses and their hypertension medicines dispensed by the private medicinal shops in the communities.
In the area where Novartis is implementing ComHIP, there are approximately 20 LCS shops for every hospital. This significantly increases the opportunities for patients to access healthcare and maximises the opportunities for blood pressure screening and diagnosis. The more convenient location saves time that may otherwise have to be spent going to and waiting at a hospital.
Novartis aims to scale-up this approach if the results of the evaluation are positive.