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Rabin Martin collaborated with AstraZeneca to create the company’s signature initiative – Healthy Heart Africa – to expand access to screening and treatment for cardiovascular disease, a growing public health challenge in developing countries. ​

Deaths from cardiovascular disease are rising in Africa and have increased significantly in the past decade. The continent has a disproportionately high burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and Africans have among the highest risks of dying from non-communicable diseases worldwide. Growing rates of hypertension – one of the primary risk factors for CVD – combined with limited screening and poor access to treatment are exacerbating the toll of CVD across Africa.  

​Rabin Martin and AstraZeneca worked together to address this growing public health challenge in a sustainable way, culminating in a demonstration program for Healthy Heart Africa – a public/private partnership – launched in Kenya in 2014 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.  

The focus was partnerships with NGOs to significantly expand access to hypertension screening in communities in sub-Saharan Africa. This approach represented a major shift from the traditional, sole emphasis on cardiologists and reflected the shortage of specialists and the realities of how and where people seek care. 

​​As part of designing Healthy Heart Africa, an AstraZeneca initiative, we:   

  • Supported the training of 250 public, private, and faith-based healthcare providers on the importance of hypertension screening, diagnosis and management​
  • Provided counsel on competitively pricing AZ’s relevant drugs to expand access to a portfolio of products for the treatment of hypertension, where applicable​
  • Facilitated partnerships with NGOs to launch five demonstration programs in Kenya to deliver education and awareness of hypertension at the primary care level, support early screening for hypertension and refer patients for diagnosis and treatment​
  • Participated in forging a partnership with the U.S. government to improve access to both hypertension and HIV screening in Africa – one of the first PEPFAR investments in non-communicable diseases
  • Facilitated the development of a monitoring and evaluation framework to support program goals and measure impact​
A woman is providing a man with a blood pressure reading to assess his cardiovascular health impact.


Over the past nine years, Healthy Heart Africa has expanded throughout Kenya and to eight additional countries across sub-Saharan Africa with the aim of identifying 10 million Africans with elevated blood pressure by 2025.​ A planned expansion to 10 more countries during 2023-2024 is on track. ​

To date, over 47 million people across Sub-Saharan Africa have been screened for hypertension; over 11,300 healthcare providers have been trained; and more than 1,500 health facilities have been activated to provide hypertension services and access to high-quality, low-cost products (where applicable).

With Healthy Heart Africa, AstraZeneca continues to prove itself as a trusted and committed partner with key customers and stakeholders in Kenya, across both East and West Africa, and within the broader global health community as the company works towards achieving health equity for all. ​

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