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.

Health Care Worker Advocacy Course

Our team launched a new short online course called Advocacy for Health Workers, focused on helping health workers develop the essential skills needed to advocate for safer health systems and workplaces. The course features short videos created by the Community Health Impact Coalition and the Stanford Center for Health Education's Digital Medic initiative.

U.S. COVID Response Team — Farewell Video

Since March 2020, our U.S. COVID-19 Response team worked with public health officials, health department staff and key stakeholder organizations to promote equitable and efficient vaccine rollout and advance prevention, testing, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation strategies to help end the pandemic. As the team winds down, we put together a video highlighting its work and achievements.

Video - There's a silent killer in your food

Artificial trans fats have no known health benefits and cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Resolve to Save Lives partnered with the NCD Alliance to produce a video on the dangers of trans fats and what we need to do to eliminate them from the global food supply.

Delayed Finalization of Sodium Targets in the US May Cost 250,000 Lives by 2031

Yesterday, Resolve to Save Lives published an article with the Queen Mary University of London and World Action on Salt and Sugar, spotlighting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new targets for reducing sodium in processed foods. The delay in finalizing these targets may have cost more than 250,000 lives. If they are implemented quickly, we can prevent 400,000 deaths over the next decade.

Expanding Quality-Assured COVID-19 Testing Capacity Across Africa

Our team worked with the African Society for Laboratory Medicine and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to strengthen COVID-19 testing capacity across the African continent. An external quality assurance scheme ensured the tests were of high quality.

New Senior Vice President of Cardiovascular Health Announced

Dr. Renu Garg has joined Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL) as Senior Vice President of Cardiovascular Health. Dr. Garg previously served as the World Health Organization Representative for Thailand and brings to RTSL more than three decades of experience implementing large-scale public health programs in low- and middle-income countries.

New report on COVID-19 in Africa shows widespread willingness to get vaccinated, underscoring need for consistent supply and additional logistical support

The fourth and final PERC report indicates that people in African Union Member States are overwhelmingly willing to get vaccinated. The report considers why global vaccination efforts have been plagued by inequity, as well as the logistical challenges to vaccinating the African continent. It further outlines the continued importance of preventive measures—particularly individual measures such as masking and social distancing—that minimize the social or economic harm that can occur when mobility, economic and social gathering restrictions are imposed.


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