KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- A
meeting on cardiovascular diseases opened Friday in Kigali with health experts
looking to draw a joint prevention and treatment work plan to help in scaling up
prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and non-communicable
diseases in general.
ministry of Health through Rwanda Biomedical Centre partnered with Team Heart
and partner organizations to convene the meeting.
“Management of cardiovascular diseases in Rwanda,” the workshop is expected to
provide an avenue to discuss Rwanda’s agenda in controlling and preventing the
cardiovascular epidemic, according to organizers.
drew national and international experts to discuss clinical and economic impacts
of cardiovascular diseases, progress of care, assessment in Rwanda and
sub-Saharan Africa, funding and the way forward.
At least 15
percent Rwandans have hypertension, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular
diseases among other Non-Communicable Diseases, according to Dr. Marie Aime
Muhimpundu, the head of the Non Communicable Diseases Department at Rwanda
the workshop, Muhimpundu said about 35 percent of people seeking treatment in
Rwandan hospitals have problems related to Non Communicable Diseases while 25
percent are having cardiovascular diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading Non Communicable Diseases among Rwandans
yet many people are ignorant about them, according to health workers.
called for more awareness campaigns among citizens about the diseases.
“We want to
increase the capacity of hospitals. We have reached far as training has been
finished in district hospitals and now we are reaching out to the health centers,”
called for mobilizing of communities and stakeholders, capacity building,
expansion of research and scaling up of screening, diagnosis, specialized
treatment and prevention initiatives.
are also discussing proposals for advanced cardiovascular management, sharing
information on current prevention and treatment initiatives in Rwanda and seek
solutions to fill the gaps in line with policy, research and services.
Rwanda’s health care system has made great strides against Non Communicable
Diseases, ministry reports show a lack of focus on cardiovascular diseases due
to lack of funding, expertise and research data.
For the past
10 years, Rwanda’s ministry of Health and Team Heart partnership has seen 150
patients receive open heart surgeries giving them a chance to live.
Communicable Diseases are blamed for high mortality posing a global health
threat. Cardiovascular diseases alone cause death of 17.5 million people each
year globally, according to the World Health Organization.
Ministry of health has put measures to manage and control Non Communicable
Diseases. These include free screening to people aged 35 and above and providing
screening and health care services at all levels of healthcare providers