Meeting African needs

ChinAfrica - - China Report -

Among non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease is one of the big­gest threats to Ghana’s pop­u­la­tion, which has a 37 per­cent preva­lence rate of hy­per­ten­sion, ac­cord­ing to Lin Chun­y­ing, head of the Chi­nese car­diac ex­perts’ team in Ghana.

“What Ghana needs most is tech­ni­cal know-how and car­dio­vas­cu­lar spe­cial­ists who can use tech­nol­ogy to treat heart dis­eases,” said Lin. “The aim of this med­i­cal as­sis­tance project is to train Ghana­ian doc­tors how to con­duct heart surg­eries them­selves,” she said.

This would mean pa­tients don’t need to drive more than 200 km to Ghana’s cap­i­tal Ac­cra to im­plant pace­mak­ers. They could do it in Ku­masi, Lin said.

In ad­di­tion, Ghana has not con­ducted risk fac­tor sur­veys to es­tab­lish the na­tional base­line preva­lence rates and ac­cu­rately quan­tify the mag­ni­tude of non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases.

To ad­dress this is­sue, a car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk re­search cen­ter will be set up at KATH, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Guang­dong Car­dio­vas­cu­lar In­sti­tute.

“The cen­ter will help to iden­tify the ac­tual causes, risk fac­tors and come out with ap­pre­cia­tive strate­gies to ad­dress some of the causes,” said Doc­tor Isaac Kofi Owusu, head of the Car­diac Unit at KATH.

For a start, since Septem­ber, the in­sti­tute has worked with KATH’S Car­dio­tho­racic Cen­ter to con­duct a sixweek re­search project ti­tled “Preva­lence of car­dio­vascu-

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