In Tanzania, the Healthy Heart Africa program embeds hypertension screening and treatment into routine healthcare visits to ensure that pregnant women are screened and have access to the care needed to treat their conditions. By teaching healthcare workers how to identify hypertension and hypertensive disorders in their patients, and empowering them to manage their own health, the program also keeps healthcare workers healthy. Now, as we transition screening and monitoring to the local Government for long-term sustainability, we are celebrating the culmination of three years of program success.
Since 2018, Touch Foundation in partnership with the Healthy Heart Africa program, has worked with AstraZeneca and Bugando Medical Centre, along with 21 healthcare facilities in Tanzania, to improve hypertension screening and treatment to improve the health status of healthcare workers and pregnant women.
Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. This disorder is especially dangerous to pregnant women and newborns and is responsible for 16% of maternal deaths worldwide.
In the last three years, the Healthy Heart Africa program in Tanzania has:
- Trained 437 healthcare workers on hypertension management, and screened 931 healthcare workers for hypertension
- Screened over 76,000 pregnant and postpartum women for hypertension
- Diagnosed and/or referred for treatment 1,631 women with hypertension
- Donated screening equipment such as stethoscopes, blood pressure machines, and scales
- Continued life-saving screenings despite COVID-19 with the use of digital health technology (learn more here)
To ensure the program’s sustainability, we’ve worked closely with regional leadership and healthcare workers to ensure screening and hypertension management is maintained. Healthcare workers will continue to prioritize hypertension screening during health visits, and this practice will remain embedded in antenatal and postnatal care. We are incredibly grateful to all partners who contributed to this program’s success and to those who will ensure its enduring impact on maternal health.