An interactive guide to help people navigate COVID-19 risk

In 2021, we partnered with the New York Times and Johns Hopkins University to create an interactive guide to help U.S. residents navigate COVID-19 risk by county. The guide, which was active from January 2021 to March 2022, used principles of alert level systems, which are a valuable means for public health officials to communicate risk for infectious diseases and also help save lives while reducing impacts on livelihoods. The wide reach and prestige of the New York Times meant that the guide was accessible to, and trusted by, millions of readers.

Implementing and Enforcing Trans Fat Elimination Policies

We released a series of case studies documenting experiences from around the world with the implementation and enforcement of trans fat regulations. Enforcement and monitoring of trans fats in foods can be done in a variety of contexts; all countries can adopt and enforce these standards.

At the World Health Summit, our president and CEO Dr. Tom Frieden delivered highlighting trans fat elimination as a key strategy for transforming food systems and preventing deaths from diet-related causes.

Celebrating Epidemics that Didn't Happen

Our latest “Epidemics that Didn’t Happen” report celebrates successful outbreak responses from around the world that demonstrate the returns of investing in preparedness and response systems.

These examples—from Brazil, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Indonesia, India and Tanzania—are a testament to the power of preparedness and a roadmap for future success in preventing epidemics.

We marked the report's release with "Preparedness in Action: Transforming Global Health Security," a live virtual event featuring preparedness experts from around the world in conversation about how to stop the next epidemic.

Read the full report here.

Watch the launch event here.

New DHIS2 Hypertension Control Package

The free DHIS2 software now supports national-scale hypertension control programs!

With the new DHIS2 Hypertension Control Package, health care workers at the primary care level use the standard DHIS2 Tracker Android application to manage individual patients' blood pressure measurements, record medications and schedule follow-up visits, saving time and reducing paperwork and loss to follow-up.

The data recorded populates a dashboard in real-time, showing key indicators for hypertension control program management, including how many patients have their blood pressure controlled and how many are returning for care regularly.

The package was developed by the Nigeria HISP team for the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with University of Oslo, WHO Nigeria, and the World Health Organization. Resolve to Save Lives is a supporting partner.

Download the complete DHIS2 Hypertension Control Package here and a fact sheet here.

India Hypertension Control Initiative recognized nationally and internationally

Last week, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India and the Indian Council of Medical Research received an award for the India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI) from the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of NCDs and the WHO Special Programme on Primary Health Care. Recognized for being “a highly impactful, large-scale hypertension intervention within India’s existing primary health care system,” the program was one of just 18 worldwide recognized.

IHCI was also hailed for saving lives by controlling high blood pressure by India’s Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, during a national radio program.

India is on the way to gaining independence from its biggest killer, cardiovascular disease

For the Economic Times, our President and CEO, Dr. Tom Frieden, wrote about India's impressive achievements in improving heart health. The country has been a leader in trans fat elimination and has made important commitments to reducing salt intake and improving control of high blood pressure. Read the full piece here: https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/i...

Campaigns build vaccine confidence in Rwanda and Uganda

Resolve to Save Lives partnered with the Partnership for Healthy Cities to support cities in low- and middle-income countries in securing and administering COVID-19 vaccines. The campaigns, in Kampala, Uganda and Kigali, Rwanda, featured compelling video testimonials from an array of city residents about their positive experiences with inoculation. In Kigali, the campaign helped bring the city’s first-dose vaccination rate to 93% of residents. Lessons learned from the campaign included making vaccine access as easy as possible to reach the most people, and using testimonials from influential community members to help build trust.

An "80-80-80" target for global blood pressure control

A new study, published in Nature Medicine, explored the potential of an “80-80-80” target for hypertension control—that is, if 80% of people were tested for hypertension, 80% of those with hypertension received treatment and 80% of those on treatment achieved blood pressure control. It found that meeting the 80-80-80 target globally could save between 76 and 130 million lives by 2050.  Achieving the 80-80-80 target would have the greatest benefit in lower-middle and low-income countries, where blood pressure treatment coverage is low and the most deaths from heart disease occur. Although the target is ambitious, the study’s authors– who included members of Resolve to Save Lives Cardiovascular Health team– conclude that most countries could achieve it by 2040.

High Blood Pressure in Bangladesh Can Be Better Controlled for Less than US$10 per Patient per Year

Life-saving care for high blood pressure, also known as hypertension—the leading preventable risk factor for heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes—could be expanded nationwide in Bangladesh for about US$9 per patient per year, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

Health care worker training at scale: Reflections from COVID-19

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Resolve to Save Lives partnered with organizations across 22 countries in Africa to support health care worker training and mentorship in primary health care facilities. After finding that existing resources were not optimized for use by health care workers, the team developed a self-paced, online course about infection prevention and control measures that featured realistic case scenarios delivered in short modules. The course, developed in close collaboration with the African Field Epidemiology Network and the Nigeria Primary Health Care Development Agency, was piloted in Nigeria before being expanded to 20 countries. Nearly two-thirds of those who enrolled completed the course, with an average rating of 9 out of 10.

Highlighting the linkages between health care worker safety and epidemic preparedness

A new page on PreventEpidemics.org highlights the linkages between health care worker safety and epidemic preparedness and describes our team’s ongoing work to improve infection prevention and control measures at the primary health care level across Africa. Between April 2020 and January 2021, we worked with a variety of stakeholders and organizations to help train more than 40,000 health care workers from more than 8,000 facilities in 22 countries . As the pandemic progressed, our team and country partners continued work to improve infection prevention and control measures and ensure the maintenance of essential health services at the primary health care level at more than 1,800 facilities in nine countries. Through our work, our team has found that modest investments in health facilities and health care workers will contribute to stronger global health security and make the world safer from the next epidemic threat.

Improving IPC in Zimbabwe

As part of a larger project to increase health care worker safety, the Prevent Epidemics team has worked to improve infection prevention and control measures and ensure maintenance of essential health services at the primary health care level at facilities across nine countries. In Zimbabwe, RTSL partnered with the Infection Control Association of Zimbabwe from February 2021-2022 to improve waste management practices and outdoor screening and triage of patients, among other safety mechanisms. Pictured is an upgraded screening area, which formerly lacked shelter or a Veronica Bucket hand-washing station.

Sharing 7-1-7: A global metric for early detection & response

In recent weeks, the Prevent Epidemics team has made the case for the 7-1-7 metric for early detection of and response to disease threats to stakeholders around the world. In Liberia, our team presented data on six outbreaks as part of a workshop on the metric for public health officials working at both the national and subnational levels. The workshop surfaced key bottlenecks identified in each respective response, measured against the metric. Attendees used the data to identify priority actions at the county and national levels for strengthening preparedness. At the Global Health Security Conference in Singapore, our team gave a standing room-only workshop on 7-1-7, orienting participants around the metric and how it can be leveraged to strengthen country-level epidemic preparedness.

“Voices” of Long COVID Stress the Urgency of COVID-19 Vaccination

Last fall, we launched Voices of Long Covid to raise awareness about the risks of long-term complications, even from mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The campaign, which featured real-life stories from three young people, aired on national TV, including during Saturday Night Live. Learn more about how we worked with state and local health departments to design and promote the campaign on preventepidemics.org.

​RTSL India team hosts technical consultation with cardiovascular health partners

On May 19, the India team held its first technical consultation in New Delhi, India, which highlighted both hypertension control and salt reduction initiatives supported by RTSL

Key partners represented included the World Health Organization, the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Ministry of Health, Global Health Advocacy Incubator, PATH, GRID Council, JHPIEGO, the George Institute of Global Health, Max Institute of Healthcare Management, Public Health Foundation of India, the National Institute of Epidemiology, the Indian School of Business, the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, Medanta, Piramal Swasthya and the United Nations Development Programme. The event also served as an opportunity for the RTSL India team to explore and learn from partners working with a shared vision, and to identify collaborative initiatives to support the Government of India’s goals for improving cardiovascular health.

Strengthening Epidemic Preparedness at the Country Level

In partnership with public health institutions in eight African countries, Resolve to Save Lives released an issue brief outlining five proven approaches for national governments to significantly improve epidemic detection and containment in their communities. The model is based on joint efforts among African nations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases over the past five years. The resulting recommendations, informed by on-the-ground experience, serve as a pathway forward for countries and global institutions to more quickly find and stop health threats by improving health protection at the country level.

Celebrating advances in blood pressure control in Ethiopia

Our Ethiopia team marked World Hypertension Day with an event at Maychew Health Center in Addis Ababa featuring representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Addis Ababa Health Bureau and the Cardiac and Heart Association. A patient from the Ethiopia Hypertension Control Initiative also spoke about the experience of receiving hypertension care. Participants highlighted the success of the Simple App roll out, with Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse calling for a scale up of the use of Simple in the future. At the conclusion of the event, speakers and other participants were screened for high blood pressure.

Under Pressure: Strategies to improve access to medicines to treat high blood pressure in low- and middle- income countries

We released a new report, developed in collaboration with the Médecins Sans Frontières Access project, that identifies barriers to affordable blood pressure medication in LMICs and underscores the need for a transformation of the global blood pressure medicines market to make life-saving medicines more affordable and available.

Getting Shots Into Arms: A Vaccine Equity Strategy in North Carolina

Our U.S. COVID-19 Response team embedded staff members with the Wake County, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (WCHHS) to protect and improve community health during the pandemic. Beginning in February 2021, WCHHS began implementing a vaccine equity strategy to reach underserved communities. One of the prioritized census tracts increased vaccinations by 29.7% relative to other non-prioritized tracts in the county. Canvassing efforts and geo-targeted information campaigns were instrumental in building trust between community members and vaccine providers, which led to more people getting vaccinated through word-of-mouth encouragement.

Providing fast, flexible funds to shorten time to respond to disease threats in Nigeria

Since 2017, Resolve to Save Lives has helped the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the African Field Epidemiology Network establish and maintain the Revolving Outbreak Investigation Fund (ROIF). This provides for the rapid release of funds for the NCDC to investigate, verify and control infectious outbreaks. With this support, Nigeria has reduced its average viral threat response time from six to two days.


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