Noncommunicable diseases are often dubbed “silent killers” because they lack symptoms — not least hypertension, which claims more than 9.4 million lives globally every year.
The prevalence of high blood pressure is now higher in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. Yet many people still lack access to screening facilities and are often simply not aware their blood pressure is too high.
In Ghana, where around one in four people are estimated to suffer from hypertension, a community-based hypertension project known as ComHIP operates in a district in the eastern region of the country. Launched in October 2015 as the result of a partnership between the Novartis Foundation, FHI 360, the Ghana Health Service, VOTO Mobile and other local organizations, the project aims to increase access to screening facilities, streamline communication between health providers and empower patients to manage their own hypertension by leading healthier lifestyles.
Devex traveled to Ghana to learn how health workers and physicians are being enabled to share information, how patients are being helped to self-manage their condition, and what lessons have been learned about using digital health tools in remote areas.
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