Original Research

A description of community-based participatory research of hypertension awareness, prevention and treatment in a district of Matabeleland South Province, Zimbabwe

Pugie T. Chimberengwa, Mergan Naidoo
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 11, No 1 | a1839 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v11i1.1839 | © 2019 Pugie T. Chimberengwa, Mergan Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 May 2018 | Published: 31 January 2019

About the author(s)

Pugie T. Chimberengwa, Discipline of Public Health Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Mergan Naidoo, Discipline of Public Health Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Background: Hypertension is an important worldwide public health challenge because of its high prevalence and concomitant risks of cardiovascular and kidney diseases. The risk factors for hypertension are well known, and screening, diagnosis and treatment of hypertension have been well researched. However, this knowledge has not been translated into community practice as there remains a huge knowledge gap between the academics, health workers and the communities. There is need for community participation in developing and implementation of health interventions among marginalised communities.

Aim: The aim of this project was to improve the community’s knowledge about hypertension by positively influencing beliefs and behaviours, leading to improved community hypertension outcomes.

Setting: The study was undertaken in Ward 14, a rural area situated south-west of Gwanda District, Matebeleland South Province in Zimbabwe.

Methods: We conducted a health services research utilising qualitative methods by using a community-based participatory approach using a cooperative inquiry group.

Results: There was improvement in knowledge about awareness and primary prevention of hypertension. Community hypertension care was established through competence training of village health workers (VHWs) and more persons living with hypertension were enrolled into care. Pill pickup rate and treatment compliance improved and the community’s confidence in VHWs was restored. Community hypertension screening, treatment registers and health facility referrals were established.

Conclusion: The community was empowered; the VHW was established as a key link between the community and the formal health delivery. This was a sustainable form of improving community hypertension health outcomes.


hypertension; participatory action research; village health worker; community based participatory research; patients living with hypertension


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