The HEARTS technical package represents a strategic and practical approach to reducing the number of premature deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim is to improve clinical preventive services in primary health care using highly effective, scalable, sustainable and proven interventions. It involves a public health approach to CVD management that will improve access, particularly in settings with significant resource limitations, by systematically addressing barriers to care. The main conceptual shift is the use of a protocol-driven approach to simplify, standardize and support the scaling-up of integrated CVD management in countries. The public health approach involves:
- simplified treatment with standard protocols for primary and secondary prevention and appropriate referral, using a core set of medicines and basic technology; and
- improved cascade of service delivery by task-sharing and robust clinical monitoring.
Similar strategies have been used successfully to scale up tuberculosis treatment and antiretroviral therapy for the treatment and care of patients with HIV (10). The HEARTS technical package is fully aligned with and complementary to the clinical guidance provided in the WHO-PEN.