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Project on Hypertension Treatment

For Release Upon Receipt - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Healthy Caribbean Coalition Names The University of the West Indies – Cave Hill as Associated Academic Institution for Groundbreaking Global Hypertension Research Project

The University of The West Indies Cave Hill campus has been selected as the academic home for the Global Standardized Hypertension Treatment Project (GSHTP) – Barbados Pilot. This initiative is a collaboration between local organizer, The Health Caribbean Coalition (HCC); the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), and several other partners in the Latin American and Caribbean region. The partnership seeks to improve the treatment of hypertension. The project uses a structured treatment approach with a core set of medications, treatment protocols with targets, and patient cohort monitoring. The goal is to create a flexible approach that can be applied worldwide and complement existing hypertension guidelines.

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for almost three quarters of all deaths worldwide, most of which are attributable to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as heart attack and stroke. Hypertension is the main risk factor for CVD and is responsible for over nine million preventable deaths globally each year. Hypertension affects as many as one in three adults, and it is therefore of utmost importance that a more focused and aggressive approach be made to improve blood pressure control rates worldwide.


The GSHTP aims to examine approaches that have been effective in treating tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, and translate these approaches into strategies that will manage hypertension more effectively.

Born out of a meeting with CDC, PAHO and key regional stakeholders in Miami in 2013, the GSHTP seeks to address hypertension management on 3 fronts:

-          Standardized use of a core set of antihypertensive medications

-          Ensuring the availability of this core set of drugs

-          Improving elements of care delivery

The project has as its Principal Investigator, The University of the West Indies – Cave Hill Campus, Faculty of Medical Sciences Lecturer, Dr. Kenneth Connell. Dr. Connell leads a team including Kim Archer Batson (Research Assistant), Dr. Addison St. John and Dr. Jamario Skeete (Clinical Research Fellows). Additional contributors include Professor Sir Trevor Hassell, Maisha Hutton (HCC), Dr. Pragna Patel (CDC) and Dr. Marc Jaffe of Kaiser Permanente. “We are pleased to be working with our colleagues in Barbados to implement this project and we are hopeful that it will result in a model for hypertension treatment and control that can be replicated in other clinics and adopted throughout the region. Our long-term goal is to engage in dialogue with other countries in the Caribbean to expand this project” said Dr. Patel, NCD Special Projects Lead within CDC’s Center for Global Health, Division of Global Health Protection.

The GSHTP- Barbados Project, which started in April 2014, is currently in the pre-implementation phase with the Edgar Cochrane and Winston Scott Polyclinics in Barbados as the implementation sites. The GSHTP has already had its debut on the international academic scene, having been featured in the editorial of the May 2014 edition of Lancet (see link: Additional information about the GHSTP can be found on CDC’s website at







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