External Source:
Focus on NCDs | CVD Diagnosis & Therapy | Volume 3, Issue 4, pp. 193-195

“Strategies should focus not only on the diseases and risk factors indicated in the UN Declaration, but also address infections as the fifth risk factor and target conditions such as rheumatic heart disease and cardiomyopathies. Only such an approach will substantially prevent death and disability by cardiovascular disease in young people from Africa.”


In Africa together with risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as systemic hypertension, diabetes, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption and overweight, there is an important role of poverty-related conditions in determining the burden of cardiovascular diseases. The management of common diseases such as untreated congenital heart disease, rheumatic heart valve disease and cardiomyopathies, highly prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, imposes an unsustainable burden to the health systems in this continent, and may hamper the efforts towards Africa’s alignment with the Global Agenda for NCDs. Thus to prevent death and disability by cardiovascular disease in Africa specific approaches need to be designed focusing not only on the global risk factors addressed by the United Nations Declaration, but also on the prevention and control of infections and poverty-related diseases.