PSI and Pfizer Partner to Address Hypertension in Vietnam and Myanmar

WASHINGTON, DC. April 20, 2017. The international nonprofit organization Population Services International (PSI) and the biopharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) today announced Healthy Communities, a US $1 million collaboration to expand access to life-saving hypertension medicines and treatment services in Myanmar and Vietnam. Approximately one-quarter of all adults in Myanmar and Vietnam have hypertension, which

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Why Should World Leaders Care About NCDs?

By Nalini Saligram, Founder & CEO of Arogya World and Heather L. White, Technical Advisor, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), PSI – Co-Chairs of the Taskforce on Women and Non-Communicable Diseases As countries take stock of their capacity to fight NCDs, it is time to remind them to start with women. As women, we can all be

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World Health Day: Halt the Rise, Beat Diabetes

By Noha Zeitoun, Content Intern, PSI Today, April 7th, marks World Health Day, a day celebrating the establishment of the World Health Organization in 1948. This year’s theme issues a call for action on diabetes, with the WHO’s first Global Report on Diabetes highlighting the global need to focus on prevention and treatment of the

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4 Key Principles to Accelerate NCD Care and Treatment in Low-Resourced Communities

By Heather White, Noncommunicable Disease Technical Advisor, PSI PSI’s technical advisor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), Heather White co-authored a discussion paper published in the National Academy of Medicine that presented four innovative principles implementers should incorporate in NCD programming. Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), stroke, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases represent the

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Overcoming Hypertension in Africa

By Mark Mallon, Executive Vice President International, AstraZeneca In advance of World Hypertension Day on May 17, PSI and Jhpiego have teamed up to bring awareness to the tremendous cost of hypertension to low- and middle-income countries. Together with several other international and local NGOs, the organizations are working to implement Healthy Heart Africa, a

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Tackling Africa’s Burden of Hypertension through Communities and Partnerships

By Dr. Stella Njagi, Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) In advance of World Hypertension Day on May 17, PSI and Jhpiego have teamed up to bring awareness to the tremendous cost of hypertension to low- and middle-income countries. Together with several other international and local NGOs, the organizations are working to implement Healthy Heart

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Stopping a Silent Killer in Africa

By: Dr. Heather White, Noncommunicable Disease Technical Advisor, PSI and Dr. Mychelle Farmer, Senior Noncommunicable Disease Advisor, Jhpiego In advance of World Hypertension Day on May 17, PSI and Jhpiego have teamed up to bring awareness to the tremendous cost of hypertension to low- and middle-income countries. Together with several other international and local NGOs,

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Silent Killer Gaining Momentum in Africa

Partnership designed to address hypertension, cardiovascular disease head-on

Dr. Elijah Ogola, vice president for the East-Pan-African Society of Cardiology, describes how the innovative public-private partnership Healthy Heart Africa – which includes Population Services Kenya – is improving hypertension care in Kenya, for NextBillion. Right now, we have the opportunity to confront a silent killer that is gaining momentum across Africa. Hypertension, or raised blood pressure, has grown

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Lessons from Fighting HIV to Fend off Next Wave of Epidemics

The AIDS epidemic is relatively young. It was only 30 years ago this year that scientists first discovered HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Perhaps it’s because it’s relatively young that efforts to abate it could learn from history and adopt new approaches.

Now, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), it’s time to “Use lessons from fighting HIV to fend off new regional threats in Asia.” From their statement:

“The effective approaches to HIV in Asia and the Pacific have illustrated that a focus on law and human rights, and attention to the needs of marginalized people, can support the achievement of human development objectives,” says Clifton Cortez, UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Team Leader in Bangkok. “We think the same lessons can be applied to reducing the threat posed by chronic non-communicable diseases that will have catastrophic human and financial impacts in this region,” he says.

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Progress and Problems in Smoking Cessation Effort


There is some good news and some bad news about global smoking rates.

The global percentage of smokers is decreasing. That is exciting.

However, the total number of people smoking and the number of cigarettes sold continues to increase. That is bad.

Those are the findings of new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. The study, “Smoking Prevalence and Cigarette Consumption in 187 countries, 1980-2012,” published yesterday in the Journal of Medical Association, shows a significant decline in smoking prevalence since 1980.

“Tobacco control is particularly urgent in countries where the number of smokers is increasing,” said Alan Lopez, Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. “Since we know that half of all smokers will eventually be killed by tobacco, greater numbers of smokers will mean a massive increase in premature deaths in our lifetime.”

The rate of smoking for men fell by 25% since 1980. Women fared better, reducing smoking by 42% over the same period of time. Stand out countries for low smoking rates for men are Antigua and Barbuda, Sao Tome and Principe, and Nigeria. The lowest rates for women are in Eritrea, Cameroon, and Morocco.

However, problem countries like Russia, Indonesia and Timor Leste face a population where more than half of all men smoke.

“Despite the tremendous progress made on tobacco control, much more remains to be done,” said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray. “We have the legal means to support tobacco control, and where we see progress being made we need to look for ways to accelerate that progress. Where we see stagnation, we need to find out what’s going wrong.”


Alongside the research, IHME published some interactive data about smoking prevalence in 2012 and changes overtime. Seen in the screenshot above, users can look at the number of smokers by region, gender, age and country. It helps show how much progress has been made and illustrates which countries are still behind and the sea of blue that constitutes the still relatively low rates of smoking across Africa.

Progress has been made, but there is still a ways to go.

“Change in tobacco prevalence typically has been slow, underscoring what a hard habit it is to break,” said Emmanuela Gakidou, Professor of Global Health and Director of Education and Training at IHME. “But we know from these global trends that rapid progress is possible. If more countries were able to repeat the success we have seen in Norway, Mexico, and the United States, we would see much less health loss from smoking.”


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More than Condoms: PSI Carribbean's Work with Non-Communicable Disease Prevention


In 2010 PSI/Caribbean (PSI/C) saw the gap in noncommunicable disease prevention programming and took the opportunity to integrate NCD prevention into it’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery program.

With the support of International Planned Parenthood Affiliates in Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago, PSI/C launched a referral card system at IPPF clinics to support the uptake of services by our target populations including Youth-atRisk, Males-at-Risk, Females-at-Risk and the Uniformed Population.

In Suriname, PSI/C has partnered with IPPF Affiliate, Stichting Lobi to support service delivery by paying the operational costs of the mobile unit that is used to reach target populations in distant areas or those without medical insurance.

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