Ethiopia has signed an agreement with drug manufacturing firm, AstraZeneca, to improve the management of heart diseases and other non communicable diseases.
According to studies, valvular heart disease – characterized by the damage to one of the four heart valves – is the most common cardiovascular disorder in that east African country.
In particular, the agreement is aimed at reducing the growing burden of hypertension, a common ailment now referred to as the “silent killer” and more prevalent among the middle class across the world.
“Ethiopia has made great strides in its fight against communicable diseases and is now using our lessons and investment to extend the programme,” said Ethiopia’s Health Minister, Kesetebirhan Admasu.
AstraZeneca says Africa has the highest prevalence of adults with hypertension at 46 %, and a quarter of all premature deaths in Africa are attributable to the condition.
“Our partnership with Ethiopia is a hallmark example of how public and private institutions can collaborate to address the rising tide of non-communicable diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa. We look forward to supporting Ethiopia’s fight against hypertension and cardiovascular diseases more broadly by sharing our learning from Healthy Heart Africa to help the Federal Ministry of Health achieve its ambitious chronic disease targets,” said Tarek Rabah, the continent’s Vice president at AstraZeneca.
The biopharmaceutical partnered with Ethiopia barely two months after the organisation signed a deal with Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops to combat the killer disease.