MMM18 Colombia targets many environments to tackle the problem of hypertension awareness

19th June 2018Lisa Woodward

MMM18 Colombia targets many environments to tackle the problem of hypertension awareness

MMM18 team in Colombia, Patricio López-Jaramillo, Johanna Otero and Sandra Milena Rueda-Quijano, spoke to us about their MMM experience in Colombia.

1. Background in Colombia

The total number of people with high blood pressure (HPB) has been increasing in Latin America since 1975, but this rise is a net effect of population growth and ageing while there has been a decrease in age-specific prevalence. However, the estimated trends in Latin America had greater uncertainty than those in high-income regions. By 2030, 85% of the global cardiovascular disease mortality attributable to HBP will originate from low-middle income countries (LMIC). The Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study supports this trend. Moreover, the PURE study found that global rates of awareness, treatment and control of HBP are low, particularly in LMIC. In high-income countries 49% of the participants were aware of their disease and 19% were controlled, while in LMIC, 43.6% of the participants were aware and only 9.9% were controlled. The prevalence of HBP in Colombia was 37.5% in individuals older than 35 years, with a direct and consistent association between a low educational level and the prevalence, awareness, management and control of BP, establishing that the most important determinant for these variables is education.

2. Screening

The MMM Initiative in Colombia is led by “Red Colombiana para la Prevención de las Enfermedades Cardiovasculares y Diabetes” (RECARDI) with the support of “Fundación Oftalmológica de Santander” (FOSCAL). The development of campaigns in different environments addressed by primary care teams and health students  included:

1) institutional environments, nursing homes and institutions that provide health services, in waiting rooms and administrative transit areas;

2) educational environments, universities, through student welfare service, research groups and fixed points in cafeterias and resting areas;

3) work environments, through companies with security and health services, human resources and direct approach in working areas;

4) community environments, in common places such as supermarkets, parks, community halls, sports and shopping centers; and

5) home environment.

3. Key collaborations

  • Scientific societies: Asociación Colombiana de Nefrología e Hipertensión Arterial, Sociedad Colombia de Cardiología y Cirugía Cardiovascular and Fundación Colombiana del Corazón.
  • Universities: Universidad de Santander, Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga, Universidad Libre de Cali, Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Universidad del Norte, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, Universidad Mariana, Universidad del Quindío, Universidad de Caldas, Universidad del Cauca, Universidad del Tolima, Universidad Tecnológica del Chocó.
  • Hospitals and Clinics: Cardiodiagnóstico S.A., Fundación BIOS, Clínica de la Costa, Centro Científico Asistencial S.A.S., Hospital Universitario del Norte, Clínica de Marly, Fundación FINDEMOS, Fundación COMETA, Pasto Salud E.S.E., Médicos Internistas de Caldas, Fundación RIESCARD, Fundación Cardiomet CEQUIN, Fundación Cardiomet Pereira, E.S.E. Popayán, Hospital Susana Lopez de Valencia E.S.E., Paramédicos Emergency Medical Service, Clínica Girón E.S.E., Clínica Guane, Fundación Oftalmológica de Santander.
  • Each institution contacted and socialized MMM18 with stakeholders and local governments (Mayor´s Office and Health Secretariats).
  • Laboratories Servier donate the stationery and launched the “Because I Say So” campaign.
  • OMRON Healthcare (Pacific Region) donate the state-of-the-art devices.

4. Key learnings

  • Teamwork with Cardiovascular Risk Programs of hospitals and clinics.
  • Patients with uncontrolled HBP were advised about adhering to healthy lifestyles and antihypertensive treatment.
  • Community understood the importance of taking regular BP measurements.
  • Medical and nursing students strengthened their training process by actively participating in the campaign.
  • People who work full time need to be visited in their work environment.
  • BP measurement could be performed by trained non-physician health workers or community health promoters with automatized devices.

5. Photos