Blood pressure-related diseases kill eight million people a year, mostly in developing countries, yet no major health development fund, development bank or major bilateral aid donor has addressed the problem, according to a comment article in The Lancet.
Similarly, no major international drug company has offered material assistance, "despite gargantuan profits from the sales of blood-pressure-lowering drugs in high-income countries," say Stephen MacMahon and colleagues.
In Africa, there is not a single initiative to implement blood pressure control strategies, even though stroke is rapidly becoming a common cause of death and disability on the continent.
The authors attribute the "staggering inequality" in treatment access to the inability of primary care systems to provide continuing care and the shortsighted view of those who set international health priorities.
They describe the outdated hypertensive care available for huge numbers of people as "a travesty that cannot continue to be ignored".
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