Introduction: In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), an estimated 74.7 million individuals are hypertensive. Reducing the growing burden of hypertension in sub-Saharan Africa will require a variety of strategies one of which is identifying the extent to which actions originating at the health systems level improves optimal management and control. Methods and Results: We conducted a narrative synthesis of available papers examining health systems factors influencing optimal hypertension in SSA. Eligible studies included those that analyzed the impact of health systems on hypertension awareness, treatment, control and medication adherence. Twenty-five articles met the inclusion criteria and the narrative synthesis identified the following themes: 1) how physical resources influence mechanisms supportive of optimal hypertension control; 2) the role of human resources with enabling and/or inhibiting hypertension control goals; 3) the availability and/or use of intellectual resources; 4) how health systems financing facilitate and/or compromise access to products necessary for optimal hypertension control. Conclusion: The findings highlight the need for further research on the health systems factors that influence management and control of hypertension in the region.
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