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16.01.2010 Health

Need to devise strategy to handle rising heart diseases

By GNA
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Accra, Jan. 15, GNA - Professor Charles A.Yankah, a Ghanaian Heart Surgeon at German Heart Institute, Berlin, on Friday called on government to devise a comprehensive strategy to treat and manage the rising cases of cardiovascular diseases in the country.

He said recent reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicated that by 2025 cardiovascular diseases would become a major health problem above HIV and AIDS especially in developing countries.

Professor Yankah made the call at a press conference in Accra on Friday to outline programmes and activities for the upcoming Accra Heart Summit scheduled for January 16-22 in Accra.

The six-day conference being hosted by authorities of the 37th Military Hospital Post Graduate College is to create awareness about the growing cases of cardiovascular diseases in Africa and forging capacity building in cardiovascular medicine in Africa.

It is expected to attract 50 participants all over the world and Ghanaian medical practitioners from all regional hospitals in the country.

Prof. Yankah said Ghana would need at least two heart centres to manage and deal with the growing heart diseases in the country.

He said an ideal situation in Europe and other developed countries was that a modern heart centre should cater for one million people.

Prof. Yankah noted that cardiovascular medicine and surgery were based on the development of science, technology and practice.

He said health care science should provide one of the solid academic and professional foundations for bridging the gap between universities, industries and government.

Prof. Yankah said scholars, professionals and consultants in the field of cardiovascular medicine and surgery should be given the obligation to initiate scientific publications on their clinical work and organize scientific meetings to foster the participation of academics, practitioners and managers.

He explained that the conference would also serve as a continuous educational programme for cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists, physicians, nurses, cardiovascular physiologists and researchers in the country.

Prof. Yankah said the participants after the conference should be able to develop a pre-operational management strategy based on an ultrasound evaluation in patients with acquired and congenital heart diseases.

He said they should also be able to apply new treatment strategies for referring patients with rheumatic and other acquired and congenital heart diseases for early surgery particularly timing for valve repair surgery.

Dr Edward Asumanu, Deputy Coordinator, 37th Military Hospital Postgraduate College, urged government to make regular medical examination for non-communicable disease mandatory.

He said cardiovascular diseases awere one of the silent killers in the system therefore efforts should be made by government to reduce its effect on the people.

GNA

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