With the celebration of World Health Day, honored every April 7, Direct Relief recognizes the work done year-round to promote solutions and establish healthy lives with partners worldwide.
Hypertension increases the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure, causing more than 715,000 heart attacks annually, and resulting in 9.4 million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Additionally, 80 percent of cardiovascular disease-related deaths take place in low- to middle-income countries – affecting adults in their most productive years – because of a lack of access to effective health care services and prevention programs. The WHO predicts that if the trend continues, 23.3 million people will die annually from cardiovascular diseases by 2030.
In Haiti, as with many other low-income countries, the most impoverished people are the most affected by hypertension. Thankfully, organizations such as Direct Relief partner, the Haitian Foundation for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases (FHADIMAC), are able to inexpensively assist people living with cardiovascular diseases related to hypertension while also working to inform the public about these conditions.
Serving more than 3,000 patients, the mission of FHADIMAC aligns with that of World Health Day – to reduce heart attacks and strokes by promoting individual awareness and knowledge of how to control blood pressure. Since their founding in 1993, FHADIMAC has been able to provide medication at reduced prices and establish two weekly clinics for low-income patients. They also offer daily educational workshops and nutritional consultation.
The work has established FHADIMAC as one of the leading organizations tackling chronic disease in Haiti. Direct Relief is privileged to support their essential role in the daily lives of thousands of diabetic and hypertensive patients and their families.