Sunday , 23 October 2016
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Certificate Course in Management of Hypertension to be Scaled Globally with a Focus on Africa and South East Asian Countries to Expand Professional Capacity of Over 5000 Specialized and Primary Care Physicians

Recognizing that the economic burden due to Hypertension and its associated complications is amongst highest in the world, and there is an urgent need for strengthening capacity and creating knowledge resources to enable doctors in the developing and the least developed world, the International Society for Hypertension plans to expand the Certificate Course in Management of Hypertension to over 5000 specialized and primary care physicians  especially in the African and South Asian regions.


Hypertension, termed as a Silent killer is a global public health crisis. WHO estimates Hypertension already affects over one billion people worldwide, leading to heart attacks and strokes. Researchers have estimated that raised blood pressure currently kills over ten million people every year. Hypertension is responsible for at least 45% of deaths due to heart disease, and 51% of deaths due to stroke. In 2008, worldwide, approximately 40% of adults aged 25 and above had been diagnosed with hypertension; the number of people with the condition rose from 600 million in 1980 to 1 billion in 2008 .The prevalence of hypertension is highest in the African Region at 46% of adults aged 25 and above followed by South Asia and Far East, while the lowest prevalence at 35% is found in the Americas. Overall, high-income countries have a lower prevalence of hypertension – 35% – than other groups at 40%.



Prof . D .Prabhakaran, Vice President – Research and Policy, PHFI, Prof. Rhian Touyz, President ISH, Prof. Neil Poulter, President Designate ISH and Prof. Cheol-Ho Kim, President and Chairman of the Korean Society of Hypertension 


In his address Prof. Cheol-Ho Kim, President and Chairman of APSH and Korean Society for Hypertension said, “Global efforts to tackle the challenge of non-communicable diseases have gained momentum since the 2011 United Nations Political Declaration on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and one of the targets envisaged is a substantial reduction in the number of people with high blood pressure or Hypertension. The need is to have a roadmap for country-led action for prevention and control of hypertension and related non-communicable diseases, especially in preventing and controlling these diseases and their key risk factors through an informed medical professionals. The scaling of the Certificate Course in Management of Hypertension will be a unique example to bridge the knowledge gap and develop a trained set of doctors who are equipped with the latest advances in Hypertension management, and also follow the latest international and national guidelines, effectively preventing, diagnosing and treating a large number of people especially in the developing nations of Africa and Asia.”


Representing PHFI at the 26th scientific meeting of the International Society of Hypertension, Seoul, Republic of Korea, Prof. D. Prabhakaran, Vice President Research and Policy – PHFI, said, “Hypertension today is the number one ‘silent killer’ all over the world. For us in India this compounds the fact that Hypertension is largely undiagnosed, untreated or undertreated and thus exerting a substantial public health burden on cardiovascular health status and healthcare systems. This high burden of Hypertension in India is under-addressed within the population level – both rural and urban and also at the medical fraternity level too. Effective management of hypertension requires a systematic and coordinated patient care management. As the numbers increase for patients diagnosed with hypertension, the need for an advanced educational preparation for doctors in quality patient care management has to be developed. With an aim to make an impact in hypertension and its related complications, PHFI along with its global partners proudly announces the expansion of its Certificate Course in Management of Hypertension (CCMH) that will ultimately benefit the larger population in the South Asia region. This course is a well-designed compendium that will help tackle the challenges of disease detection, management, and further familiarizing primary care doctors and specialists with advancements in the area of Hypertension. Through this PHFI reaffirms its commitment to improve health outcomes of people and will embark upon a renewed roadmap to address the current constraints in the health system to effectively manage hypertension and its associated complications in India and the rest of the South Asian continent.”


In India the prevalence of Hypertension or High blood pressure (BP) is rapidly increasing among both urban and rural populations. In fact, hypertension is now the most prevalent chronic disease in India. It is estimated to cause 9.4 million deaths and 7.0% of DALYs. In India, it exerts substantial public health burden on cardiovascular health status and the health care system. It is estimated to account for 10.8% of all the deaths and 4.6% of DALYs in the country. The adult Hypertension prevalence has shown a drastic increase in the past three decades in urban as well as rural areas. It is estimated that 16% of Ischaemic Heart Disease, 21% of Peripheral Vascular Disease, 24% of Acute Myocardial Infarctions and 29% of strokes are attributed to hypertension. This stresses the need for its effective management and control and it highlights the huge impact it can have on the burden of Cardiovascular Diseases.


Hypertension is very common and a major public health issue. The prevalence is expected to increase to 1.56 billion by 2025 globally. Lifestyle factors, such as physical inactivity, a salt-rich diet with high processed and fatty foods, and alcohol and tobacco use, are reasons for this increased disease burden, which is spreading at an alarming rate from developed countries to emerging economies, such as India, China and African countries.


Lauding PHFI’s efforts in the realm of NCDs, especially Hypertension management, Prof. Rhian Touyz, President – International Society for Hypertension in her address said, “As the International Society of Hypertension is the premier global body dedicated to research, education and clinical excellence in blood pressure and related cardiovascular disease, we would like to applaud the work carried out by PHFI at local and regional levels to spread the importance of tackling Hypertension and building capacity amongst clinicians through the CCMH course. The increase in physicians’ knowledge and clinical skills will facilitate and foster a change in their behavior leading to improvements in clinical outcomes and ultimately a reduction in the morbidity and mortality from hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases.”


Prof. Neil Poulter, President Elect of the International Society for Hypertension said “Hypertension is one of the major health and development challenges of the 21st century. No country, rich or poor, is immune to this chronic and incurable epidemic. I am pleased to know that given the current alarming situation of hypertension and its related complications especially in the Arica and the South Asia regions, PHFI is reaffirming its commitment towards working to change the ‘Blood Pressure paradox’ that it faces presently. PHFI through its CCMH course and other courses related to NCD/CVD management has a fruitful partnership with ISH. The CCMH is providing quality education to Indian doctors, and will go a long way to address the epidemic of hypertension and its related complications in India. The subsequent scaling up of course in the Africa and South Asian region will make a real difference to the care that can be given to a large number of people who lack access to trained doctors.” 


PHFI’s Hypertension Capacity Building Program aims at expanding the professional capacity of General Physicians in the areas of research and development, medical education and awareness in Hypertension and related disease management in India and the South Asia region. As part of this programme, more than 5,000 physicians in partnership with global partners and universities, in addition to Indian and South Asian states and countries, will benefit from accredited clinical and chronic diseases management training programmes. These programmes will equip clinicians with skills to avert NCDs / CVD and related complications such as heart and blood vessel diseases, lung diseases, chronic kidney diseases, thyroid dysfunction, strokes and many other conditions in its early stages.


Amongst the audience were representatives from the African countries especially from Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, who emphasized the need for capacity building in the African region since most Academic Institutions don’t have facilities for such courses to run.


Presently PHFI runs several courses in the field of NCDs / CVD management namely – Certificate Course in Evidence Based Diabetes Management, Certificate Course in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, Advanced Certificate Course in Prevention and Management of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease (ACMDC), Certificate Course in Diabetic Retinopathy, Certificate Course in Management of COPD & Asthma, Certificate Course in Management of Thyroid Disorders and Certificate Course in Management of Hypertension. These courses are executive on-the-job training programs that develop core competencies of doctors (general physicians and specialists) to enhance their skills for practicing evidence based management various types of NCD / CVD and its associated complications. Over the last 5 years these courses have already trained and churned over 15000 physicians in primary care settings pan-India. The courses have international collaborating partners like IDF, WHF etc. to keep the focus robust with a globally accept values. A few courses have received IDF, South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies (SAFES), Asia and Oceania Thyroid Association (AOTA) recognition and are also recognized by various state governments as nodal teaching courses.


The Certificate Course in Management of Hypertension is a CCMH is a joint course that is being run by PHFI, CCDC, British Hypertension Society and International Society of Hypertension and is supported by an educational grant from Sun Pharma Laboratories Limited. It aims to strengthen the technical competencies of primary care physicians in the management of hypertension and associated complications. CCMH is presently conducted in 25 regional centres of India spread across 13 states, 1 Union Territory (UT) and 21 cities. The course has received an overwhelming response and a total of 612 primary care physicians have been enrolled for the first cycle against the initial target of 375. The course curriculum has been vetted by a panel of 11 national experts that comprise of the most renowned specialists in the field of hypertension across India. The 10 modular course has been designed to be delivered once-a-month on a designated weekend. The course will be administered by regional faculty who are eminent cardiologists/ internists of their respective cities. The criteria for award of certificate is — participation in 9 out of the 10 monthly contact sessions (Including the pre-test and post-test of each module), completion of assigned course work (two descriptive assignments based on completed modules to be submitted during II and III module) and appearance and clearance of final written examination in the form of MCQ’s in an hour, along with Module 10 (minimum of 50% score to clear the examination).


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