Dakar is the capital and largest city of Senegal. As the westernmost city on the African mainland, Dakar has benefited from being the region’s departure point for trans-Atlantic and European trade.
Dakar is home to over 3.5 million people and half of Senegal’s urban population. Its population relies mainly upon employment from industrial and commercial plants but still faces a poverty rate of 46.7%. In 2011, Dakar was ranked in the top 10 worst cities to live in – mainly due to poor infrastructure.
It is estimated that 34% of deaths in Senegal are caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In Dakar alone, 24% of the population have hypertension, a similar figure to the national average. Yet only 7% of Senegalese patients receive hypertension treatment and even less have their condition controlled.
Better Hearts Better Cities is a Novartis Foundation initiative which seeks to improve cardiovascular health in low-income urban communities by adopting a multisector, multidisciplinary approach to improve the control of hypertension as a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease.