South Asia Forum 2021

Hypertension is the leading attributable risk factor for cardiovascular (CVD) and kidney disease, and premature death globally including in South Asian countries, where it accounts for a third of age-standardized deaths. Over 1.1 billion people are affected by hypertension globally, and this number is expected to increase to more than 1.5 billion by 2025.

South Asia Forum for 2021, co-hosted by DUKE-NUS, Singapore, RemediumOne and Kelaniya University, promises to build on this success. Presented through a webinar this year's forum will focus on innovation in affordable and scalable delivery of community based public health interventions to improve blood pressure control centered around a recently concluded pivotal study conducted in South Asia.

The Control of Blood Pressure and Risk Attenuation – Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka (COBRA-BPS) study, published recently in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (Feb 2020), reported that a low-cost, multi-component intervention comprising home visits by community healthcare workers to monitor blood pressure (BP) and provide lifestyle coaching, coupled with physician training and coordination with existing public health care infrastructure, led to clinically meaningful reductions in BP as well better BP control.

The public health implications of the findings are significant. A low-cost programme like COBRA-BPS could be adapted and scaled up in many other settings globally, using the existing healthcare infrastructure to reduce the growing burden of uncontrolled hypertension and potentially save millions of lives, as well as reduce suffering from heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and kidney disease.

This is the first multi-country trial of its kind, and as such serves as a model of South-South collaboration. The tools and techniques implemented in the project delivery can be taken as examples for designing and conducting other community based clinical trials with long periods of follow up successfully.

We take this opportunity to invite you to this virtual event which is planned to be held on 25th of Jan 2021. Please be kind enough to find the attached event flyer and registration link. The event credentials will be shared with you once you have completed the registration. For any assistance please do let us know.

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