Hypertension researchers on top of their game
Two researchers from the North-West University (NWU) are currently rubbing shoulders with world leaders in hypertension research at the 8th African Hypertension Teaching Seminar, taking place in Maputo, Mozambique.
Both Prof Alta Schutte and Dr Ruan Kruger from the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART) form part of the African Advisory Group as presenters and coordinators among other world leaders in hypertension research.
The aim of this seminar is to share the latest, updated and country-specific hypertension lectures from renowned centres across the globe with young African physicians and medical researchers in the field of hypertension – a major public health concern with extensive economic impact, especially among low resource settings in sub-Saharan Africa.
Kruger said it is a great privilege to share important research about hypertension, widely known as a silent killer. “Research indicated that black people are more inclined to die from blood pressure-related diseases than white people. Another shocking fact is from of a study with 110 000 participants, only 18% of individuals with hypertension were receiving treatment and only 7% had controlled blood preassure.”
Equipment to the value of millions of rands has now been put into service at the recently established Hypertension Clinic at the NWU, thus creating the opportunity of blood pressure and cardiovascular-related diseases to be better researched so that they can subsequently be treated earlier or even prevented.
Schutte added that blood pressure diseases among this race group are a trend that is increasing alarmingly and require immediate attention. “Research in the Hypertension Clinic already specialise on various aspects of the early development of hypertension. Early tracing and prevention of hypertension as well as the awareness thereof will remain the central focus of research conducted within the African-PREDICT study lead by the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART).”
The South African Medical Research Council, the National Research Foundation and the international Newton Fund also provided the NWU with over with R15 million for further ground-breaking research in the hypertension and cardiovascular fields over the next 5 years.