Status report on hypertension in Africa - Consultative review for the 6th Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Health on NCD’s

  • S van de Vijver
  • H Akinyi
  • S Oti
  • A Olajide
  • C Agyemang
  • I Aboderin
  • C Kyobutungi


Hypertension has always been regarded as a disease of affluence but this has changed drastically in the last two decades with average blood pressures now higher in Africa than in Europe and USA and the prevalence increasing among poor sections of society. We have conducted a literature search on PubMed on a broad range of topics regarding hypertension in Africa, including data collection from related documents from World Health Organization and other relevant organizations that are available in this field. We have shared the initial results and drafts with international specialists in the context of hypertension in Africa and incorporated their feedback. Hypertension is the number one risk factor for CVD in Africa. Consequently, cardiovascular disease (CVD) has taken over as number one cause of death in Africa and the total numbers will further increase in the next decades reflecting on the growing urbanization and related lifestyle changes. The new epidemic of hypertension and CVD is not only an important public health problem, but it will also have a big economic impact as a significant proportion of the productive population becomes chronically ill or die, leaving their families in poverty. It is essential to develop and share best practices for affordable and effective  community-based programs in screening and treatment of hypertension. In order to prevent and control hypertension in the population, Africa  needs policies developed and implemented through a multi-sectoral  approach involving the Ministries of Health and other sectors including education, agriculture, transport, finance among others.

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eISSN: 1937-8688