The Pan-African/World Health Summit Global Forum was organized in conjunction with the 6th World Health Summit 2014 in Berlin, Germany in collaboration with the Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the German Heart Institute Berlin and the Pan-African Society for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (PASCaTS).
Drs. Solowjowa, Kukucka and Siniawski provided highly educational imaging on congenital heart diseases and intraoperative evaluation of the mitral valve, respectively. The forum discussed the exciting presentation on sex differences in myocardial hypertrophy by Professor Regitz-Zagrosek, challenges in the management of cardiomyopathies by Professor Schulheiss. Professor Yuko-Jowi illustrated the enormous burden of congenital and rheumatic heart diseases in the developing countries especially sub-Saharan Africa. Over the next decade an estimated 1.7 – 2.6 million children will require heart surgery in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) which we would like to shoulder together.
Finally, the forum continued the discussion on strategies for improving capacity strengthening programmes and infrastructure maintenance, data collection and networking in clinical cardiology, cardiac surgery and cardiovascular sciences in the tropics beyond the Millennium Development Goals 2015. Stay tuned for the 4th Pan-African/WHS Forum on Sunday, October 11th , 2015 in conjunction with the 7th World Health Summit from October 11 – 14, 2015 in Berlin.
Since the emerging cardiovascular diseases is a global issue, the organizers invited the Director of Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases, WHO, Dr. (Mrs) Shanty Mendis to join the round-table discussion at the forum chaired by Professor Falk, Chairman of the Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin (German Heart Institute Berlin).
Dr. Njelekela, Dar es Salaam and Professor Saksena, Mumbai pointed out that our future collaboration with the African states should focus on cooperation in knowledge transfer, telemedicine (distant learning), developing a networking in clinical work and science. The message was to provide professional/technical support to African governments in health care policy making and to encourage them to consider seriously cardiovascular health policies within the priority health care agenda. The health care policies should cater for various cross-cutting issues like health insurance, community health funds, public private partnerships and to prioritize the invested diaspora remittances (over 60 billion USD to SSA) in health care.
The expert’s consultations promote and support strategic plans for sustainable development in the cardiovascular health sector, which will include:
- Cardiovascular health service delivery in regional hospitals
- Human resources: capacity building, strengthening capacity in sustainable development for cardiovascular health care
- Facilitation for health care financing
- Logistics and medical care supplies
- Health information systems (HIS)
- Promotion of international networking with cardiac centres
- Institutional leadership and governance.
- Promotion of heart teams to improve communication between cardiologists and surgeons and to find common ground to establish indications for evidence-based medical and surgical therapies for better outcome of patients.
- Strengthening of patient-doctor relationship in both disciplines through regular seminars.
- Sustaining infrastructure maintenance
The African Cultural Institute in collaboration with the Pan-African Society for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (PASCaTS) is promoting international heart missions to Africa to tackle this acute situation in each region in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The visiting heart teams to SSA seek to demonstrate the feasibility of performing successful cardiac surgery in local settings and involve the local health care providers in the process.
By doing so, they initiate the transfer of knowledge and foster confidence that native physicians and nurses will be able to carry on this work independently in the future. For now, there is still no substitute for visiting teams in some regions. Internationally recognised experts in cardiac surgery, Professor Saksena, Mumbai and Dr. Ralph Bolmann III presented their experience in Mauritius and Rwanda on challenges of holistic management of cardio-thoracic disease in developing countries.