Cardiovascular diseases in the African region: current situation and perspectives: Report of the Regional Director
Abstract1. The burden of cardiovascular disease is increasing rapidly in Africa, and it is now a public health problem throughout the African Region. Most important are hypertension, stroke, cardiomyopathies and coronary heart disease. Rheumatic heart disease is still a major concern. 2. One of the reasons for increased cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) worldwide is the increase in aged populations. Another reason is exposure to various modifiable risk factors that are responsible for at least 75% of all the CVDs. 3. As with other noncommunicable diseases, CVDs are not often given the attention they deserve. As a result, most countries do not have national programmes or strategies to address CVDs. Likewise, surveillance systems for risk factors are almost non-existent in the Region. 4. Priority interventions aimed at reducing the burden of CVDs in the African Region include setting up national noncommunicable diseases programmes which include CVD; setting up surveillance systems based on risk factors; capacity building of health personnel; ensuring availability of costeffective medications; implementing the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control and the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health; and incorporating both primary and secondary prevention of rheumatic heart disease.
Regional Committee for Africa, 55. (2011). Cardiovascular diseases in the African region: current situation and perspectives: Report of the Regional Director. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/1871