“The advent of portable echocardiography, and its use for screening and management of cardiovascular diseases, constitutes an opportunity for African scientists to tackle the issue of lack of systematic data on prevalence and incidence of these conditions.”
Research into cardiovascular disease in sub-Saharan Africa has been hampered by lack of funding and expertise. However, hospital- and community-based data reveal high economic and social costs of these diseases to the national health services and the communities, with the region facing a mixed burden of diseases related to poverty and infections, emergence of risk factors and diseases of affluence, as well as new cardiovascular problems caused by the HIV/AIDS epidemics. The availability of echocardiography has raised the profile of these conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, stimulating several projects led by local cardiologists under the umbrella of the Pan-African Society of Cardiology. This research may help to overcome the lack of focus on cardiovascular diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as increase the awareness of the public and policymakers on the burden of cardiovascular diseases.