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Hypertension, the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease, affects between 20-40% of the adult population of the region, that is, around 250 million people. The Pan American Health Organization focuses on the celebration of World Hypertension Day 2015 to emphasize the importance of working in prevention and improved control on people who are already hypertensive, and to prevent deaths from cardiovascular disease. Each year 1.6 million deaths befall from cardiovascular disease in the region of the Americas, of which about half a million occur in people under age 70. 

Controlling hypertension means that those who are hypertensive keep their blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg. The percentage of those who have controlled blood pressure is unacceptably low in most countries. Only three countries - Canada, the United States and Cuba have levels of population control over 35%, which is the commitment made by the countries in the region by 2019.

PAHO promotes policies and projects to impact on public health the prevention of hypertension through policies to reduce salt intake, to promote healthy eating, physical activity and to prevent obesity. To help control on people who have already developed hypertension, it promotes and supports projects that facilitate access to essential medicines for the treatment of hypertension and promotes development of human resources in health care.


curso virtualAs of May 15 at the Virtual Campus of PAHO, this free course will be available for staffs which are part of primary health care teams. It is taught in Spanish and consists of 12 self learning modules with teaching materials, reference texts and explanations. Each learning module is assessed by a test and an end-of-course evaluation is performed. Enrollees who meet all requirements will receive a certificate issued by PAHO. Those interested should register at the Virtual Campus for Public Health, PAHO/WHO.

Access to the Virtual curse Management of hypertension for primary care teams (in Spanish)