Non-Communicable Diseases, Emergency Care and Mental Health Module: 1. Cardiovascular Diseases

Study Session 1  Cardiovascular Diseases


This study session is the first in the Module on Non-Communicable Diseases, Emergency Care and Mental Health. Part 1 of the Module describes some important physical diseases and impairments, and the emergency care that you may be called upon to give to someone with a life-threatening condition. Part 2 covers the mental health issues that you may meet in your community. Although this first study session deals with one particular group of physical illnesses (the cardiovascular diseases), it introduces several themes that are shared by all chronic (long-term) conditions, including diabetes, cancers, lung diseases, visual impairment, deafness and other physical disabilities. As you will see, all of these conditions can affect the patient’s mental health.

Cardiovascular diseases are a major problem all over the world, including in developing countries such as Ethiopia. They are in the top three killers in almost every country. In this study session you will learn about cardiovascular diseases, beginning with the function and composition of blood, the anatomy and physiology of the heart and the blood vessels, the pulse, and the blood pressure. We will then describe the major cardiovascular diseases (hypertension and heart failure), and the community approach to decreasing the risks of these conditions. Finally we describe how you can help people with cardiovascular diseases by advising them about their diet.

Learning Outcomes for Study Session 1