Moeti/ NPHCDA/ death
Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the Regional Director of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa.

World Hypertension Day: Africa Urged to Address Root Cause

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged African countries to implement their commitments through policies and programmes addressing the root causes of hypertension to promote healthy living.

WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, made the call in her message to commemorate World Hypertension Day 2023.

“African governments can lead the way by implementing their commitments through policies and programmes that address the root causes of hypertension. The initiative, if implemented, promotes healthy environments and improves access to healthcare services,” Ms. Moeti explained. “This will require a significant investment in healthcare infrastructure, training healthcare workers, and increasing access to affordable medications.”

The WHO official stated that the day is observed to draw attention to combat the low level of awareness on hypertension and the limited availability of calibrated devices for accurate blood pressure measurement.

Read Also: Over One Billion People Suffer From Hypertension – Ehanire

“The symptoms are usually foreboding of damage to specific organs in the body, including the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys, resulting from poor control,” she added.

According to her, in Africa, close to 40 per cent of adults aged between 30 to 79 years are hypertensive, and only a quarter of these are taking medicines.

Ms. Moeti said optimal blood pressure control was only attained in 11 per cent of patients on medication.

“Hypertension is an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, mostly heart attack, stroke, and heart failure, which account for a significant burden of premature mortality from non-communicable diseases,” she explained further. “Hypertension is easy to diagnose, and there are safe and cost-effective treatments, including pharmacologic and behavioural change interventions.”