Hypertension leads to an estimated 91 000 deaths per year in Vietnam, representing 21% of the overall mortality. A study by the Vietnam Heart Institute found that 25% of adults have high blood pressure, but fewer than half are aware of their condition, and only 11% have access to effective treatment.
The Ho Chi Minh City Communities for Healthy Hearts program is the Novartis Foundation’s second community-based innovative incubator model for hypertension. The program is designed to improve healthcare provision for adults living with hypertension in four districts and 16 wards within Ho Chi Minh City. It covers a population of approximately two million people and leverages new partnerships to explore innovative solutions for improving access to hypertension screening, diagnosis and treatment services, particularly for those living in low-income urban households.
Launched in May 2016, Communities for Healthy Hearts engages partners across multiple sectors including government, social enterprise, public and private health sectors, community and academia, and seeks to provide new options for screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow up of hypertension patients.
To date, Communities for Healthy Hearts has developed a communication strategy to increase hypertension awareness and more than 300 blood pressure check points have been set up. The screening opportunities for hypertension will be ramped up to offer blood pressure check points in more local businesses. In addition, the Ho Chi Minh City Provincial Health Department has expressed interest in expanding the treatment guidelines developed by the program to additional districts.
Our collaboration partners include PATH and the Ho Chi Minh City Provincial Health Department. The Hanoi School of Public Health along with the support of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine will evaluate the programs overall effectiveness and the impact of the interventions.