AstraZeneca launches Healthy Heart Africa 2.0 Initiative

Deepak Arora, the Africa Cluster Country President at AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca has launched the Healthy Heart Africa 2.0 in Ghana, a significant step forward in preventive healthcare and the reinforcement of robust health systems throughout Africa.

This initiative aims to combat the rising burden of non-communicable diseases, particularly cardiovascular ailments, across the continent.

During the launch event, Deepak Arora, the Africa Cluster Country President at AstraZeneca, highlighted the pivotal shift from treatment to prevention in addressing cardiovascular diseases.

Mr. Arora emphasized the importance of early screening, diagnosis, and treatment, stating, “How can we move from treatment to prevention so that we can support early screening diagnosis and treatment for people who deserve it?”

Mr. Arora also lauded the accomplishments of the previous Healthy Heart Africa initiative, citing the screening of over 9.6 million individuals and the training of 12,000 healthcare professionals.

Participants at the Launch of Healthy Heart Africa 2.0 Initiative

He underscored AstraZeneca’s commitment to collaboration between public and private sectors, stressing the necessity of partnerships in driving sustainable healthcare solutions. “If you want to travel fast, you can do it alone, but if you want to travel far then it has to be together,” Mr. Arora reiterated.

Furthermore, Mr. Arora outlined AstraZeneca’s dedication to addressing non-communicable diseases beyond vaccines, focusing on cardiovascular, metabolic, oncology, respiratory, immunology, and rare diseases.

He emphasized the pivotal role of science in driving innovation and execution, aligning with the company’s vision to make a meaningful difference in global healthcare.

Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Presidential Advisor on Health, delivered a keynote address emphasizing the urgency of combating chronic kidney disease (CKD) and implementing strategic interventions to mitigate its prevalence.

Dr. Nsiah-Asare highlighted the disproportionate impact of CKD on low and middle-income economies, noting Ghana’s substantial burden.

Quoting alarming statistics, Dr. Nsiah-Asare revealed that CKD prevalence in Ghana stands at approximately 13.3% percent, with a staggering 250 percent increase in kidney-related cases recorded over the past five years.

He emphasized the economic repercussions of CKD, particularly on the productive segment of society, citing instances where families have been financially crippled due to the high costs of dialysis.

Dr. Nsiah-Asare outlined key barriers to effective CKD management, including limited healthcare infrastructure and inadequate awareness among healthcare professionals. He stressed the imperative of legislative reforms to facilitate organ and tissue donation and ensure equitable access to life-saving treatments.

The launch of Healthy Heart Africa 2.0 Ghana was hailed as a pivotal milestone in the fight against CKD, with Dr. Nsiah-Asare commending the collaborative efforts of partners, including AstraZeneca and PATH.

He expressed optimism that the program’s implementation would yield tangible improvements in patient outcomes and quality of life.

Dr. Nsiah-Asare reiterated the government’s commitment to implementing policies aimed at bolstering non-communicable disease prevention and control efforts, emphasizing the importance of strategic investments in health promotion and education.

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