The World Health Organization’s most recent estimate of the prevalence of hypertension in Ghana is 27.3 percent — over one-quarter of the country’s adult population. Despite the high prevalence, there are few control efforts. A recent study estimates that only 4.1 percent of hypertensive patients in Ghana control their hypertension.
To improve hypertension control, FHI 360 is testing a model that links members of a community in Ghana’s Lower Manya Krobo District in the Eastern Region to the private sector, community health workers and the public health system. The project will design, develop and deploy a mobile communications system to enhance the capacity of the Ghana Health Service while empowering individuals to control their own hypertension.
Key components of the intervention include blood pressure screening in the community, ongoing management of hypertensive clients by community-based nurses, blood pressure monitoring and dispensing of anti-hypertension drugs by licensed chemical sellers, and supportive messaging through SMS/voice messages.
FHI 360 will serve as the primary implementer for the project. In collaboration with the Novartis Foundation, FHI 360 will design and develop technological applications such as a patient-level cloud-based database, electronic guidelines and job aids for health care workers, and SMS/voice messaging systems for treatment adherence, reminders and healthy living tips.
FHI 360 and its partners will also identify a second district as a comparison site in which current hypertension services will be provided without project interventions.
FHI 360 is implementing this project in collaboration with VOTO Mobile, with technical input by the Novartis Foundation. The intervention will be evaluated by the London School of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene and the University of Ghana, School of Public Health.