Healthy Heart Africa capacity building activities

AstraZeneca’s Healthy Heart Africa programme includes a range of capacity building activities to help reduce the burden of hypertension in Kenya.

Summary

  • What: AstraZeneca’s Healthy Heart Africa programme includes a broad and comprehensive approach to capacity building activities related to hypertension prevention and treatment.
  • Details: Activities include training health workers, developing medicine supply chain management and pharmacovigilance skills, and supporting local research capacity.
  • Scope: It was launched in 2014 in 24 counties across Kenya and is planned for expansion to other countries in Africa.
  • Objective: The programme aims to reach 10 million hypertensive patients across Africa by 2025.

 

As part of AstraZeneca’s Healthy Heart Africa programme, a healthworker screens a man for hypertension. The programme has raised screen- ing levels among men from 35% to 50% in some areas.

Looking closer

AstraZeneca’s Healthy Heart Africa programme aims to reach 10 million hypertensive patients across Africa by 2025, initially piloted in Kenya. In terms of the capacity building aspects of the programme, it is innovative mainly for its broad and comprehensive approach to relevant capacity building activities. It aims to: improve awareness of hypertension risk factors, prevention and screening in the community; build capacity of health and community care workers to respond to hypertension (with processes to mitigate conflict of interest), including developing national treatment guidelines in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, and delivering mobile-based training to community health workers; develop targeted medicine supply chain management and pharmacovigilance skills; and support local research capacity and data infrastructure related to the local prevalence of hypertension and other non-communicable disease risk factors.

The programme was launched in October 2014 in Kenya (in 24 counties in Nairobi, Central, Eastern, Nyanza, Western and Rift Valley regions). It is planned for expansion to other countries in Africa.

Abt Associates, an international health and social sector consulting firm, is conducting the external monitoring and evaluation of the pilot programme in 2016 and is expected to provide a report on the impact of the first 18-month phase.

Many companies measured in the Access to Medicine Index 2016 undertake capacity building activities on a smaller scale, targeting fewer different elements of the pharmaceutical value chain and beyond. While Healthy Heart Africa ultimately represents a vertical approach, given its focus on hypertension, it engages with a number of different partners (community-based non-governmental organisations, government agencies and international organisations) to take a more comprehensive strategy in this pilot programme.

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