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Factors affecting diagnosis and management of hypertension in Mazowe District of Mashonaland Central Province in Zimbabwe: 2012

More Mungati1*, Portia Manangazira2, Lucia Takundwa1, Notion T Gombe1, Simbarashe Rusakaniko1 and Mufuta Tshimanga1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Community Medicine, University of Zimbabwe, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe

2 Ministry of Health and Child Care, Harare, Zimbabwe

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2014, 14:102  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-14-102

Published: 19 August 2014



From 2005 to 2011 Mazowe District recorded a gradual decline in prevalence of hypertension in the face of rising incidence of complications like stroke. This raised questions on whether diagnosis and management of hypertensive patients is being done properly.


We conducted an analytic cross sectional study at three hospitals in Mazowe District where we randomly selected 201 of 222 patients from out patients departments and interviewed a convenience sample of 23 healthcare workers. Structured interviewer administered questionnaires were used to collect data on demographic characteristics and knowledge from patients, as well as knowledge and practices from health workers. Physical measurements were done on all patients. Frequencies; proportions, odds ratios, Chi square test and stratified & logistic regression analysis were done using Epi info version 3.5.4 while graphs were generated using Microsoft excel®. Calculations were done at 95% confidence interval.


Prevalence, awareness, control, compliance, and complication rate of hypertension were: 69.7%, 56.2%, 22.0%, 59.8% and 20.7% respectively. Independent risk factors for hypertension were age (POR 3.09; 95% CI: 1.27-7.5), obesity (POR 4.37; 95% CI: 1.83-10.4), and previous high blood pressure reading (POR 19.86; 95% CI: 8.61-45.8). Complications included cardiac failure (8.6%), visual defects (4.3%) and stroke (3.6%). Co-morbid human immunodeficiency virus (10.7%) and diabetes mellitus (12.1%) were identified among respondents. Knowledge was poor in 47.7% of health workers.


Risk factors found in this study are consistent with other studies. Health service factors are the main reasons for poor diagnosis and management of hypertension. Health workers need training on diagnosis and management of hypertension. Guidelines, digital sphygmomanometers and adequate drug supply are needed. District has since purchased digital BP machines and requested assistance with training on clinical features of hypertension, use of digital machines, and how to properly measure BP. A policy document on non-communicable diseases including hypertension was subsequently developed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and currently awaiting endorsement by parliament.