The World Heart Federation (WHF) and the Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA) have revealed that Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) claims 18.6 million lives annually.
According to the group, about 520 million people living with CVD have been disproportionately affected by the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
This revelation was contained in a joint press release issued by the two organizations to marked the commemoration anniversary of this year’s World Heart Day.
WHF and SASNET-GHANA urged government and partners in health to make digital cardiovascular health services accessible to the 30.8 million Ghanaians in order to decrease mortality from the world’s biggest killer.
According to groups, COVID-19 has seen an explosion in telemedicine, with a 40% jump in the world’s richest countries.
“WHF and SASNET-GHANA believes this digital transformation presents a pivotal opportunity for millions living with cardiovascular disease from lower income backgrounds who have little access to in-person consultation” portion of the statement read.
Below is unedited statement from WHF and SASNET-GHANA
HEART EXPERTS CALL FOR MILLIONS TO BENEFIT FROM LIFE-SAVING ONLINE SERVICES AS TELEMEDICINE ROCKETS BY 40%
– Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains biggest killer, claiming 18.6 m lives per year
World Heart Day is celebrated each year on 29 September to raise awareness and mobilize international action against cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death on the planet. It is the global initiative under which individuals, governments and the entire heart community come together to engage in fun activities, increase public education, and advocate for universal access to CVD prevention, detection and treatment
On World Heart Day, 29 September 2021, the World Heart Federation (WHF) and the Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA) are calling on government and partners in health to bring digital cardiovascular health services to the 30.8 million Ghanaians in order to decrease mortality from the world’s biggest killer. COVID-19 has seen an explosion in telemedicine, with a 40%1 jump in the world’s richest countries. WHF and SASNET-GHANA believes this digital transformation presents a pivotal opportunity for millions living with cardiovascular disease from lower income backgrounds who have little access to in-person consultation.
CVD claims the lives of 18.6 million people per year and 520 million people living with CVD have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
In Ghana NCDs and CVD are responsible for the death of 94,000 people annually representing 43% of all mortality (WHO NCD Progress Monitor).
WHF and SASNET-GHANA are calling for equity across healthcare and for the rapid development in digital care to reduce inequalities by transforming the diagnosis, prevention and management of CVD in Ghana.
Currently only 20% of the population in lower income countries including Ghana are online. WHF and SASNET-GHANA are calling for operators to fund and develop the infrastructure to reach disconnected hearts everywhere; governments to prioritise digital infrastructure and heart health in policy; industry to keep prices of tech affordable; and telecoms service providers to collaborate with them to bring digital medicine to some of the world’s poorest communities across the globe.
“Never before have we seen such a ‘techceleration’ in cardiology,” says Fausto Pinto, President of the World Heart Federation. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform the lives of millions of people who are left behind in healthcare today. We should use digital health to scale up and speed up prevention efforts and save lives and millions spent on care.”
From online consultations, to simple Electrocardiograms (ECGs), blood pressure monitoring, to virtual surgery, the web has opened new possibilities to cardiovascular care for millions. As with all rapid digital transformation, there are challenges. For healthcare, top concerns are data privacy, technology compatibility and the need for human contact. According to WHF, co-designing programmes with patients will also be critical.
As part of measures to commemorate this year’s World Heart Day in Ghana on the theme ‘USE HEART TO CONNECT”, Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA) in collaboration with partners such as MoH, GHS, WHF, etc will hold a Mobile Van Awareness Campaign to educate the public about the risk for CVD in the Volta region , organize a Community Forum in the Oti region and hold a media campaign to raise awareness on CVD.
Adrian Lovett, CEO of the World Wide Web Foundation, which campaigns for equal access to the internet and a web which is fair for all, says “While telehealth technologies could be a game-changer for the world’s health, there’s a huge digital barrier keeping billions out of this system.
Almost half the globe lives without a basic internet connection and many more people lack the technology they need to use digital healthcare services. To fully unleash the promise of the web to improve treatment and protect lives, leaders must invest to expand internet access to everyone.”
World Heart Day is supported by leading pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly Alliance, and Pfizer.
Joris Silon, Senior Vice President, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism BioPharmaceuticals Business Unit at AstraZeneca said, “At AstraZeneca we are focused on developing and delivering life-changing medicines and solutions for the millions of people affected by cardiovascular disease by fundamentally transforming care for the millions of people with cardiovascular, renal and metabolism diseases. We know just how important it is to collaborate with others who share our vision to accelerate this change and deliver innovative solutions.”
Cc: Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu
Minister of Health
Republic of Ghana
Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare
Presidential Advisor on Health, Ghana
Dr. Patrick Aboagye,
Director General -Ghana Health Service
Manager, Non Communicable Disease Control Programme GHS
– ALL MEDIA HOUSES
Issued by Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana, World Heart Federation
Media Contact: Ad Adams Ebenezer, Executive director SASNET-GHANA, Led Consultant World Heart Day event in Ghana
email@example.com Mobile: 0594989495 /0202985950
Story: inghananews.com/Franklin ASARE-DONKOH