Project HOPE Teams Up with Boston Scientific to Support South Africa's Bid to Screen 8 Million People for Diabetes and Hypertension

MILLWOOD, Va., Nov. 20, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Project HOPE, a global health and humanitarian assistance organization, today announced a partnership with Boston Scientific International Corporation to support an initiative by South Africa's National Department of Health to screen eight million people at risk of diabetes and hypertension.

"Project HOPE is proud to be part of a coalition fighting hypertension and diabetes in South Africa. I am excited by our new partnership with Boston Scientific. The National Department of Health has set ambitious screening targets to tackle both conditions. Hypertension is a silent and growing killer in South Africa and around the world. In fact, it's the only condition that kills more people than tobacco. Thanks to the generous support of Boston Scientific South Africa, we can help identify people at risk of chronic diseases and support them to make necessary lifestyle changes and build healthier and more productive lives," said Tom Kenyon, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO of Project HOPE.

Project HOPE South Africa has extended its screening efforts to communities outside of its signature station, Zandspruit, to include Cosmo City, Thabo Mbeki, Fodisong and Princess since October 2015. Chronic diseases are a major cause of death and disability worldwide, and the World Health Organization estimated in 2005 that they were responsible for 60 percent of all global deaths. Statistics South Africa showed 40 percent of deaths in South Africa attributed to non-communicable diseases in 2008.

Boston Scientific has supported Project HOPE and its health policy journal Health Affairs since 2005, to highlight the most pressing health issues of the day and to enable the medical NGO to deliver health services and education from Iraq to Sierra Leone.

"We are very pleased to collaborate with Project HOPE to improve health services for communities in South Africa, and we applaud the government for its ambitious bid to prevent and reduce the risk for chronic illnesses," said Ruwaida Shaikh, Country Director of Boston Scientific.

Project HOPE has a decades-long legacy of success fighting chronic diseases in China, India, Mexico, Honduras and South Africa, where it established the HOPE Center, training 119 community health workers and screening more than 10,387 individuals for diabetes and hypertension since 2012.

About Project HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, as well as conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 30 countries. Project HOPE's signature program in South Africa is located at The HOPE Centre in Zandspruit on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The program is a partnership with local NGOs, government and academic stakeholders focused on educating local communities about chronic diseases - especially diabetes and hypertension and providing clinical services for the treatment and management of the diseases and support through peer group education. Follow us on Twitter: @projecthopeorg.

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

CONTACT: Geraldine Carroll Tel. 540-257-3746

Source: Project HOPE