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WHF African Summit summarized in the European Heart Journal

The European Heart Journal, the official general cardiology journal of our members the European Society of Cardiology, has published in its latest edition an article summarizing the WHF African Summit, which was held in Khartoum, Sudan on 10 and 11 October 2017 in collaboration with the Pan African Society of Cardiology, African Heart Network and Sudan Heart Society. The summit brought together African policy makers and representatives of African national societies and foundations to share their insights and strategies on policy implementation, access to essential medicine and integrative care in Africa to promote better patient care, and resulted in the development of the Khartoum Action Plan.

You can read an extract from the article below. The full article, co-authored by WHF President-Elect Karen Sliwa, is available here.

The World Heart Federation (WHF) is the umbrella organization of continental and national cardiac societies and heart foundations globally, reporting to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHF is dedicated to the global fight against CVD, including heart disease, stroke, and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Building on the first Global Summit on Circulatory Health, held at the 2016 World Congress of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Health in Mexico City, the second Summit held in Singapore July 2017 focused on building a civil society movement for circulatory health.

The WHF African Summit took place in Khartoum, Sudan on the 10–11 October 2017. The Summit was held in conjunction with the Sudan Heart Society Annual Congress, The Pan African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR), and the African Heart Network (AHN). The Summit included more than 100 participants from Africa, Europe, Canada, and Asia among other areas, with active involvement from the members of the PASCAR, Sudanese and many other African Cardiac Societies, European Society of Cardiology, International Hypertension Society, AHN, and other non-governmental groups.

Representatives of WHO AFRO and WHO Sudan gave lectures and contributed to the discussions. Themes of policy implementation, access to essential medicine, and integrative care in Africa were extensively discussed.

The first workshop on Policy Implementation was opened by Prof Karen Sliwa, President-Elect of the WHF, and summarized the objectives of the Summit- speaking with one voice reducing 25% premature cardiovascular mortality by 2025- is that achievable for Africa? She provided data showing that in many regions of Africa the risk for cardiovascular disease has substantially increased and is predominately driven by markedly increased rates in hypertension, smoking, and obesity, due to the adoption of a western lifestyle.

The number of people living with historically prevalent forms of diseases such as RHD is still high. The prevalence in populous African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa are 360, 415 and 220 per 100 000 people.1 Most of them have no adequate access to health care which includes implementation of rheumatic fever prophylaxis.

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