HEARTS Technical Package for Cardiovascular Disease Management in Primary Health Care: Access to Essential Medicines and Technology. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018
(2018; 41 pages) [French]


More people die each year from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) than from any other cause. Over three-quarters of heart disease and stroke-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. The HEARTS technical package provides a strategic approach to improving cardiovascular health. It comprises six modules and an implementation guide. This package supports Ministries of Health to strengthen CVD management in primary care and aligns with WHO’s Package of Essential Noncommunicable Disease Interventions (WHO PEN). HEARTS modules are intended for use by policymakers and programme managers at different levels within Ministries of Health who can influence CVD primary care delivery. Different sections of each module are aimed at different levels of the health system and different cadres of workers. All modules will require adaptation at country level.

Procurement and supply management activities are fundamental to consistent and reliable access to essential medicines and health products.

To reduce the impact of CVD, action needs to be taken to improve prevention, diagnosis, care and management of CVD diseases. Affordable essential medicines and technologies to manage CVD disease must be available where and when they are required.

Medicines and technologies need to be managed appropriately to ensure that the correct medicines are selected, procured in the right quantities, distributed to facilities in a timely manner, and handled and stored in a way that maintains their quality. This needs to be backed up by policies that enable sufficient quantities to be procured in order to reduce cost inefficiencies, ensure the reliability and security of the distribution system, and encourage the appropriate use of these health products.

In order to avoid stock-outs and the disruption of treatment, all related activities need to be conducted in a timely manner, with performance continually monitored, and prompt action taken in response to problems that may arise.

Additionally, medication must be dispensed correctly and used rationally by the healthcare provider and patient alike. The purpose of this guide is to explain the necessary steps.

This module focuses on access to medicines and basic equipment for CVD management, and includes:

• information on the pharmaceutical management cycle and policies

• selection of appropriate drugs and technologies

• supply-chain management, including quantification, forecasting, distribution, storage and handling • ensuring supply and accountability

• rational use of medicines.

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