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Abia, Gombe, Oyo… five states to benefit from hypertension treatment programme

Five states, including Abia, Gombe, Jigawa, and Oyo, have been listed to benefit from the scaling up of a collaborative academic research programme, ‘Hypertension Treatment in Nigeria’.

The hypertension treatment in Nigeria programme is a five-year National Institute of Health-funded collaborative academic research work by the University of Abuja, Washington University in Saint Louis, and Northwestern University, Chicago, USA, which commenced in 2019.

Over 23,000 patients with hypertension have been enrolled in the programme which will end this year.

The programme has a Nigerian, Dike Ojji, an associate professor and lead investigator at the cardiovascular research unit department of internal medicine, faculty of clinical sciences, college of health sciences, University of Abuja, on its team.

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Dijji is working in collaboration with Mark Huffman, a professor at Washington University.

In a statement on Sunday, Huffman and Ojji said the research is ongoing in 60 primary healthcare centres in all six area councils of the federal capital territory (FCT).

“We have submitted a renewal application to the NIH/NHLBI to support national scale-up in five states and diabetes integration in the FCT with support from other stakeholders,” the professors said.

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“If approved, we are hopeful that it would have a significant effect on the treatment and care of hypertension, especially in Nigeria.

“We believe that scaling up our studies, collaborating with other important health institutions, and making the government come up with effective policies arriving from results of cutting-edge health-related researches, will help improve our health system a lot.”

Hypertension is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Africa, and Nigeria, the most populous country in the continent, contributes significantly to this burden, with a high prevalence of over 30 percent.

Huffman and Ojji’s team is also working on a new study titled ‘Enhancing intergenerational health in Nigeria: Peripartum as critical stage for cardiovascular health (ENHANCE-CVH)’, funded by NIH until 2028.

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The study focuses on maternal cardiovascular health and how it affects the newborn child.

Ojji said the NIH has funded another research programme on the Nigeria sodium study, adding that it started in 2020 and will end in 2026.

“The result is now driving the Front-of-Labelling of the Federal Ministry of Health,” he added.

“The federal ministry of health had indicated interest in using the data from this research to set nationwide limits on salt consumption as a way of reducing cardiovascular diseases in the country.

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“The study is currently ongoing in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria and two other states, Ogun and Kano, with the overall objective of establishing mandatory sodium limits in Nigerian food.”

 

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