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Medic’s convention calls for improved response to heart disease emergencies

<p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;"><img src="/nairobi/PublishingImages/Heart%20symposium%202018%20body%20image.jpg" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/>​</span></p><p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;"><strong>Caption: </strong><em>Dr Jay Shavadia (left), an Intervention Cardiology Fellow from Duke University, United States, Dr Fatimah Juma (centre), physician, Intensive Care Unit and Dr Mohamed Jeilan (right),  Director, Cardiac Program and Interventional Cardiologist </em><em>at Aga Khan University Hospital </em><em>in discussion at the annual Heart Symposium held at Safari Park Hotel.</em></span></p><div style="text-align: left;"><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Medical specialists from the East Africa Region and beyond convened for a two day heart symposium organised by Aga Khan University Hospital to discuss how to best respond to emergency cardiac care situations.</span></div><div><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Themed Acute Cardiovascular Clinical Care, the event addressed the most common and more urgent clinical emergencies in cardiovascular medicine including hypertensive emergencies, acute chest pain and breathlessness syndromes, cardiac tamponade and cardiogenic shock, an acute vessel occlusion related to acute limb ischemia and how they can be managed.</span></div><div><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">“Cardiovascular disease including heart disease and stroke is the world’s number one killer. Each year, it’s responsible for 17.5 million deaths and by 2030 this is expected to rise to 23 million. In Africa, the latest projections suggest that by 2030, more people will die from coronary artery disease than from any other cause of death. The rate of progression in this condition is both remarkable and alarming. The fact that Kenyans in their twenties and thirties are now experiencing heart attacks means we can no longer afford to ignore this growing risk to our future health and well-being”, said Dr Mohamed Jeilan, Director, Cardiac Programme and Interventional Cardiologist at Aga Khan University Hospital.</span></div><div><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The main challenge in Kenya is patients suffering from heart emergencies do not receive timely treatment. The gap in care comes from poor knowledge of the seriousness of the symptoms and of the condition, poor access to acute cardiac medical services for the majority of the population and financial barriers.</span></div><div><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">“Currently we have only about 40 cardiology doctors in Kenya, most of whom practice in Nairobi and the other few in Kisumu and Mombasa leaving out the other counties which experience similar heart emergencies. As a result, we invited all county hospital clinical representatives to attend this symposium in order to bridge the knowledge gap in heart emergency response and have them attend to heart attack patients at the county level, stabilizing patients with ease before referring them to a more specialized hospital with a cathlab facility.”</span></div><div><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">“Initiatives like The Heart Attack Concern Kenya (HACK), are also moving to address these challenges with a protocol of “systems of care” for efficient management of heart emergencies and integrated networks of facilities. The emphasis is to work with the government, ambulances and medical societies to increase access to timely life-saving treatments.”</span></div><div><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">“HACK in partnership with major hospitals is working on educating the public and professionals alike, on evaluating the systems of care available at county level, engaging newly developed ambulance and emergency services, and incorporating insurance schemes including NHIF to improve access for vulnerable populations. HACK works in partnership with ambulance teams, major hospitals including Aga Khan University Hospital and with heart attack teams”, Dr Jeilan further notes.</span></div><div><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The annual event brought together specialists in various fields from hospitals in Kenya and beyond including cardiologists, emergency physicians, critical care specialists, nephrologists, pulmonologists, endocrinologists, cardiac and vascular surgeons, cardiac anaesthesiologists, general physicians and critical care nurses.</span></div><div>
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