Politics

Five New States To Be included In Hypertension Treatment Study- Researchers

NAPTIP 20240519 195041 0000

A collaborative academic research programme, Hypertension Treatment in Nigeria, which has enrolled over 23,000 patients with hypertension will scale up its work to five new states in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Co-Principal Investigator, Hypertension Treatment in Nigeria programme, Prof. Mark Huffman and the Lead investigator, Dike Ojji, at a recent stakeholders meeting in Abuja.

Huffman who is also a Professor at the Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, USA and Ojji, also an Associate Professor, Cardiovascular Research Unit Department of Internal Medicine Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja, listed the new states to be captured as Abia, Delta, Gombe, Jigawa and Oyo.

The Hypertension Treatment in Nigeria programme is a 5-year National Institutes of Health-funded collaborative academic research work by the University of Abuja, Washington University in Saint Louis, USA, and Northwestern University, Chicago, USA, which commenced in 2019, and is expected to end in 2024.

Other collaborators in this study are the Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria, Resolve to Save Lives, World Health Organisation, Federal Capital Territory Primary Healthcare Board, and the Public Health Department of the Federal Capital Development Authority.

The research is ongoing in 60 primary healthcare centres in all the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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.

Giving an update on the project, the duo said that they have submitted a renewal application to the National Institutes of Health(NIH) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for the scale up.

“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.

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

The team is also working on a new study, titled Enhancing Intergenerational Health in Nigeria: Peripartum as Critical Life Stage for CardioVascular Health (ENHANCE-CVH), funded by NIH until 2028.

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

The team which also include, Prof. Victor Davila-Roman of the Global Health Centre, Institute for Public Health, and Dr Godwin Akaba of the University of Abuja, is a collaborative academic research work between University of Abuja, Washington University in Saint Louis, USA, in collaboration with Parents as Teachers, USA.

In a presentation, Ojji said another important NIH funded work which the team was focusing on was the Nigeria Sodium Study that commenced in 2020 which will elapse in 2026.

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

He added that already the ministry had indicated interest to use the data from this research to set nationwide limits on salt consumption, as a way of reducing cardiovascular diseases in the country.

The Nigerian Sodium Study Team comprises Medical Scientists from University of Abuja, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri, Northwestern University, Chicago; Nutrition Coordinating Centre, University of Minnesota; and the George Institute for Global Health; University of New South Wales, Australia.

The schools are working in collaboration with National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) Nigeria, Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL), and Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI).

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

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