Quito, Ecuador - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), through the HEARTS Initiative, advocates the use of validated electronic devices in order to improve the accuracy of blood pressure (BP) measurement, as it is key to the correct diagnosis and control of hypertension. To this end, it is necessary to have a regulatory framework that progressively promotes and reinforces the availability of these devices, especially in primary care services, and training of personnel in the correct measurement of blood pressure and in the use of validated devices.
This was highlighted during the Technical Meeting organized by PAHO on March 3 and 4 in Quito, Ecuador, with the support of the Centers for Disease Control in the United States (CDC), Resolve to Save Lives, and hosted by the Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador. Forty technical representatives from regulatory and clinical areas of the governments of the 12 countries of the Region that are currently implementing the HEARTS Initiative participated. International experts such as Dr. Norman Campbell (University of Calgary), Dr. James Sherman (University of Tasmania) and Dr. Rajdeep Padwal (University of Alberta) were also in attendance.
During the meeting, technical sessions were provided to train the working groups on how to carry out validation studies of electronic blood pressure devices independently. Further, mechanisms for establishing regulatory and procurement environments for validated devices were discussed, and guidance was provided on the PAHO Strategic Fund as an alternative mechanism to improve the accessibility and quality of validated electronic blood pressure devices.
Participating in the opening ceremony of the Technical Meeting were Dr. Gina Watson, Representative of PAHO / WHO in Ecuador; Mr. Fernando Jácome, National Director of International Cooperation; and Dr. Pedro Orduñez, PAHO Regional Advisor for Noncommunicable Diseases and in charge of the Initiative at the Regional level.