West Africa

WORLD HEART DAY: THE IMPORTANCE, CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE BURDEN, FAMSA’S ROLE AND THE ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT.

THE HEART

The heart has been described over the years as the engine of life. From the moment it is created in a foetus, it continues to beat till the last moment of life. The heart being a muscular chamber, supplies blood and is the pump which controls the circulatory system. It is estimated that every day, the heart pumps blood through 90,000 kilometres of blood vessels.

 

WORLD HEART DAY

World Heart Day is a World Health Organization (WHO) recognized day that has been set aside to inform people around the globe about Cardiovascular Disease, the world’s leading cause of death which claims about 17.5million lives each year. World Heart Day is celebrated on 29 September each year.

 

WHY MARK WORLD HEART DAY?

 

World Heart Day being an initiative of the World Heart Federation aims at

  • Creating awareness about Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) which include stroke, heart failure, coronary heart disease and hypertensive heart disease.
  • Educating people on the need for controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol intake, physical inactivity and obesity which help in preventing at least 80% of premature deaths from CVD.

It is estimated that 90% of CVD is preventable. Risk factor such as tobacco has been identified. Approximately 10% of CVD is attributed to tobacco smoking. Within two years of stopping smoking, the risk of coronary heart disease being a form of CVD has been found out to be significantly reduced. However, people who quit smoking by age 30 have almost as low a risk of death as never smokers.

High dietary intake of saturated fat, trans-fats and salt, and low intake of fruits and vegetables have been found out to be associated with increased risk of CVD. The World Health Organization attributes approximately 1.7million premature deaths from CVD to low fruit and vegetable consumption. Reducing intake of saturated fat has been found out to reduce the risk of CVD by 17%.

 

BURDEN OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death and disability worldwide accounting for about 17.5million deaths every year. CVD resulted in about 17.9 million deaths (32.1%) in 2015, up from 12.3 million (25.8%) in 1990. Of the 57 million global deaths in 2008, 36 million (63%) were due to Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and 17.3 million (30%) were due to CVDs. Nearly 80% of NCD deaths occur in Low – and middle – income countries (LMICs). Coronary artery disease and stroke account for 80% of CVD deaths in males and 75% of CVD death in females. Most CVD affects older adults. In the United States, 11% of people between 20 and 40 have CVD, while 37% between 40 and 60, 71% of people between 60 and 80, and 85% of people over 80 have CVD.

Cardiovascular is among the top three causes of death in Sub-Saharan Africa with about 210 daily deaths from CVD in South Africa. The challenge is that the prevalence of major risk factors has increased in the last 10 years.  Hypertension has been identified as the biggest single risk factor in Sub-Saharan Africa. The African region has the highest prevalence rate, 46% of adults aged 25 and above. The prevalence has been suggested to be increasing rapidly. The number of adults with hypertension in 2025 is predicted to increase by about 60% to a total of 1.56billion, with a disproportionate prevalence developing countries including Sub-Saharan Africa. 1 in 3 South African adults have hypertension and about 10% of the population over 15 years of age are pre-hypertensive. In the Sub-Saharan African region, 30% of adults over the age of 18 suffer from hypertension. In contrast with other CVD risks such as high BMI, the burden of hypertension is greater in lower income countries than higher income settings. Multiple risk factors positively interact to exacerbate CVD risks. Hypertension, for example, combined with unhealthy diets (high sodium and excessive alcohol intake) and lack of physical activity has a multiplicative negative effect on CVD mortality and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). In Sub-Saharan Africa, the prevention, detection, management and control of hypertension should now be regarded as a high priority. It is estimated that if the 10 – 20 million people who are believed to have hypertension in Sub-Saharan Africa were treated effectively, about 250,000 deaths would be prevented annually.

 

FAMSA’S OBJECTIVES

Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations (FAMSA) is a Non Governmental Body which has contributing towards the improvement of health in Africa as one of her objectives.

Having identified the rise in incidence of CVD in Africa, in marking this year’s World Heart Day, FAMSA aims at

  • Creating an awareness about CVD related deaths via various media platforms

The social media being a vital tool in disseminating information is being employed by FAMSA in staging a world class online campaign on the need to have a healthy heart. In line with this year’s theme of “My Heart, Your Heart”, the social media messages will preach sharing power via various ways. Other plans include gathering medical students together to display the need for a healthy heart by snapping with campaign posters and also forming a heart shape.

  • Educating the African populace about the possibility of reducing the risk of CVD

Studies have proven that about 80% of CVD risk can be reduced by lifestyle changes. FAMSA hopes to use the various campaign media to educate the African man on the need to engage in daily exercise, stop tobacco smoking, promote healthy diet and check his blood pressure regularly.

  • Identifying the risk factors of CVD and how they can be prevented

This campaign will aim at identifying risk factors with high prevalence in our community. In so doing, people who are at high risk are identified and educated about the need to put a stop to the identified risk factors or ensure adequate control as seen in diabetes mellitus.

 

ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN REDUCING THE RISK OF CVD

The burden of CVD in Africa can be reduced if the African Government rises up to the increasing rate of CVD related deaths. Various measures that should be put in place include:

  • Creating a surveillance system to monitor CVD deaths and identifying those at risk of having CVD
  • Implementation of stringent tobacco control policy
  • The prevention, early detection, management and control of hypertension should be regarded as high priority.
  • Ensuring availability of diets that promote healthy heart and putting in place measures that limit the availability of diet high in fat, sugar and salt.
  • Putting in place strategies that control excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Promoting physical activity among the populace by creating an awareness on the need for it
  • Equipping the healthcare services available and provision of new and effective ones.
  • Making available healthy diet for school children.

 

CONCLUSION

Healthy heart is essential for healthy living. Ensuring a healthy heart begins with you as an individual. The risk of CVD related death can be reduced and it begins with you. The African government should rise up to the increasing rate of CVD related death. The message of ensuring a healthy heart should be preached to every individual. You and I should make a promise towards a healthy heart!

 

REFERENCES

Cooper RS, Rotimi C, Kaufman JS, et al.(1998) “Hypertension treatment and control in Sub-Saharan Africa: the epidemiological basis for policy. Br med J. ; 312:614-617. doi: 10.1136/bmj.316.7131.614 (Accessed 28th September, 2018)

Francesco PC, Michelle AM. (2016) “Cardiovascular disease and hypertension in Sub-Saharan Africa: burden, risk and interventions”. Intern Emerg Med.; 11: 299 – 305. doi: 10.1007/s11739-016-1423-9 (Accessed 28th September, 2018)

GBD 2013 Mortality and Causes of Death, Collaborators (2014). “Global, regional, national age-sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990 – 2013: a systemic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013”. Lancet. 385 (9963): 117 – 71. PMC 4340604. PMID 25530442. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61682-2. (Accessed 28th September, 2018)

Ibrahim MM, Damasceno A. (2012) “Hypertension in developing countries”. Lancet; 380:611 – 619. doi: 10.1016/S0140 – 6736 (12) 60861 – 7 (Accessed 28th September, 2018)

Kearney PM, Whelton M, Reynolds K, et al (2005). “Global burden of hypertension: analysis of worldwide data”. Lancet ; 365:217 – 223.doi:10.1016/S0140 -6736(05)70151-3 (Accessed 28th September, 2018)

Liesl Zuhlke (2016). “Why heart disease is on the rise in South Africa”. The Conversation Africa (Accessed 28th September, 2018)

Lim SS, Vos T, Flaxman AD, et al.(2010) “A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990 – 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010”. Lancet. 2012;380:2224 – 2260. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61766-8. (Accessed 28th September, 2018)

McGill HC, McMahan CA, Gidding SS (2008) “Preventing heart disease in the 21st century: implications of the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth (PDAY) study”. Circulation. 117 (9): 1216 – 27. PMID 18316498. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.717033 (Accessed 28th September, 2018)

Seedat YK (2004). “Recommendations for hypertension in Sub-Saharan Africa”. Cardiovasc J S Afr. 15:157 – 158. (Accessed 28th September, 2018)

 

Authors: Odedara A. M. and Ogunfolu A. A.

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PRESS RELEASE ON THE DEATH OF FORMER UNITED NATION SECRETARY-GENERAL AND NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE – KOFI ANNAN

 

The Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations (FAMSA) is profoundly disheartened by the passing of former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mr. Kofi Annan.

Kofi Annan, in full Kofi Atta Annan was born April 8, 1938, in Kumasi, Gold Coast (now Ghana); died August 18, 2018.

He served as the seventh Secretary General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006. Annan and the UN were the co-recipient of the 2001 Noble Peace Prize. He was the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation as well as chairman of the Elders, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.

Mr. Annan was the first black African to head the United Nations, was deeply respected by all who knew and worked with him. He left an unforgettable legacy through his work at the United Nations.

Of his numerous mind blowing works, it is worth noting that Mr. Kofi Annan worked on ending human rights abuses and also to combat HIV/AIDS virus especially in Africa. He began his new term as the UN secretary general in 1997; the outlook from the AIDS epidemic was bleak. Some 23 million people were living with HIV there were 3.2 million new HIV infections and access to life saving treatment was only available to a privileged few. Under his leadership in 2000, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1308, identifying AIDS as a threat to global security.

Also, in 2000, at a time, when less than one billion dollars was invested in the AIDS response, he called for a war chest of at least 7-10 billion dollars for AIDS tuberculosis and malaria.

As UN secretary general, he spoke glowingly on gender equality including its role in development. According to him, no other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity or reduce infant and maternal mortality as well as improve nutrition including the prevention of HIV/AIDS. These were directed towards the improvement of health in Africa and the world as whole.

A highlight of Annan’s strides in office was his issuance of a five-point Call to Action in April 2001 to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic and his proposal to create a Global AIDS and Health Fund. He and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December of 2001 “for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world”. A few of his strides in office include:

• Adoption of the UN’s first-ever counter-terrorism strategy,

• Involvement in the transition to civil rule in Nigeria in 1998,

• Launch of the “Global Impact” initiative in 1999 which has become the world’s largest effort to promote corporate social responsibility,

• Being responsible for certifying Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 and in 2006, his efforts contributed to securing a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah.

• Also in 2006, he mediated a settlement of the dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi peninsula.

While Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping in 1990, Kofi Annan facilitated the repatriation from Iraq of more than 900 international staff and other non-Iraqi nationals and also served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the former Yugoslavia and Special Envoy to NATO (1995-1996).

“Mr. Annan devoted his life to making the world a more peaceful place through his compassion and dedication to service. He worked tirelessly to unite us and never stopped fighting for the dignity of every person” (Nikki Haley).

Mr. Kofi Annan will be greatly remembered as a colossus of peace and justice

The Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations join the international community in remembering and acknowledging his remarkable service to the world.

May his soul rest in peace

 

 

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32nd FAMSA General Assembly and Scientific Conference

FAMSA GA is the annual general assembly of member medical student associations of FAMSA from all around Africa. This year’s edition is the 32nd of its kind and will mark the 50th anniversary of the association. To celebrate FAMSA’s historic anniversary, University of Ibadan Medical Students’ Association (UIMSA) http://uimsa.org.ng will be hosting other medical students from all over Africa and the world as this edition will also feature a scientific conference themed “Repositioning healthcare in Africa for Sustainable Development”.

The 32nd FAMSA General Assembly and Scientific Conference will bring together young vibrant minds as well as professionals and relevant stakeholders in both the public and private sectors from across Africa and beyond to discuss ideas and initiate steps to position Africa on the path to sustainable development in health and by extension in every other sphere of human development. The conference will feature keynote addresses, plenary sessions, workshops, trainings, hackathon sessions, and scientific presentations on carefully selected subthemes all related and contributory to our goal of repositioning healthcare in Africa for Sustainable Development.

For more information about the general assembly, kindly visit http://famsaga2018.com

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FEDERATION OF AFRICAN MEDICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATIONS (FAMSA) 31st GENERAL ASSEMBLY

⁠⁠⁠🌍 Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations (FAMSA)🌍

presents

31st General Assembly

Date 🗓 : 13th-17th September, 2017.

Venue 🏫 : Niger Delta University, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

This historic event is an annual platform where medical students from over 30 African countries come together to discuss health issues pertaining to Africa.

Featuring:
🛑 Scientific Seminars/Lectures
⚫ Inter medical school Quiz
🔵 Sight seeing
✳ Native Dinner
🌐 General Election

DELEGATE FEES
➡ Nigerian: $16
➡ Foreign : $32

It promises to be enlightening, fun and adventurous. We look forward to your arrival at Yenagoa!
FAMSA….Towards the improvement of health in Africa

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DEPRESSION – A CALL TO ACTION

The study, published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS) Journal of Medicine, found that globally, the prevalence of depression was 4.4 per cent, while Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories were amongst the most depressed states.

According to the research, depressive orders are second only to lower respiratory infections when it comes to inflicting the most years of disability on people throughout the world.

Clinical depression is defined as involving at least one major episode in which the affected individual experiences a depressed mood almost all day, every day for at least two weeks.

The researchers used data on the prevalence, incidence, remission rates and duration of depression and dysthymia (a milder, chronic form of depression that lasts for at least two years), and on the excess deaths caused by these disorders from published articles.

They found that the prevalence of depression for women was almost twice as high than it was for men.

More than five per cent of people in the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean have depression, the researchers found.

However, it is important to note the research was based on the rate at which people were diagnosed with clinical depression, rather than actual rates of depression.

Maymunah Yusuf Kadiri a consultant Neuro Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Medical Director at pinnacle medical service, in an interview with Kemi Ajumobi of Business day newspaper, Nigeria. Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds. When mild, people can be treated without medicines but when depression is moderate or severe they may need medication and professional talking treatments. The risk of becoming depressed is increased by poverty, unemployment, life events such as the death of a loved one or a relationship break-up, financial challenges, physical illness, abuse-physical, sexual, emotional and drug, conflicts, economic instability and recession.

There can’t be a better time to spring into action than now when there is an upsurge of depression around the world. At a time where conflicts are daily arising among nations and communities causing economic instability and recession making life more difficult for people especially in Africa and in the Middle East.

According to Prof. Lourens Schlebusch, there are at least 23 suicides a day in South Africa – which may be underestimated due to the stigma involved in suicide. However, data on suicides and other unintentional injury deaths are not systematically tracked by any agency in the country making accurate statistics hard to come by, says SA’s largest mental health NGO, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).

Depression is the most prevalent mental illness in the developing world. In Africa, it’s devastating: 66 million women are suffering. The great majority have no medical services to turn to for help–strong minds.org. If this number of our women ( clinically diagnosed alone)are suffering from severe depressions in a continent Where most women are housewife’s, how will they be able to Take adequate care of our children emotionally. I hope we are not breeding a “depressed future generation”.

From being some of the happiest people on earth, Nigerians have slumped to the rank of the most depressed in Africa. This was the conclusion contained in the latest figures released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which show that Nigeria has 7,079,815 sufferers of depression, that is 3.9 per cent of the population.

Also, 4,894,557 Nigerians, that is 2.7 per cent of the population, suffer anxiety disorders. The country is closely followed by Ethiopia with 4,480,113 sufferers, that is 4.7 per cent of her population; Democratic Republic of Congo with 2,871,309 sufferers (3.8 per cent); South Africa with 2,402,230 sufferers (4.6 per cent); and Tanzania with 2,138,939 sufferers, that is 4.1 per cent. Seychelles has the lowest number of depressed persons with just 3,722 that is 4.0 percent

One thing about depression is that you can’t sufficiently know how it feels and what debilitating impact it Can have until one goes through depression. Unlike myriads of other clinical illness, it can’t be readily diagnosed and can even be easily missed. It’s like a smothering fire. It gradually and quietly eats away the sufferer’s life. Most of the time, their health parameters may even be normal yet there’s this huge sore in their lives which can’t be picked by any new generation medical diagnostic kit.

Depression is pilfering our lives and future; let’s curb it.

 

AKINDE TITUS GBOYEGA
5th year medical student,
University of Ibadan,
Oyo state, Nigeria.

 

 

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WEST AFRICA REGIONAL MEETING OF FAMSA AT UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST, GHANA

WEST AFRICA REGIONAL MEETING OF THE FEDERATION OF AFRICAN MEDICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATIONS (FAMSA)

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST, GHANA

OCTOBER 5 to 9

The program officially kick started on Wednesday the 5th of October with the arrival of delegates and registration of delegates, not much could be done due to the time of arrival, but University Of Cape Coast medical student association gave a wonderful reception, with excellent accommodation and feeding (pictures included below), and an Sexually Transmitted Infection Lecture took place which was wow!!!

As we go on everything was perfect from the accommodation, electricity, mosquito free environment, we advanced to other days with fun and academically filled programs, which includes the Famsa Orientations, free general screening of the Amamoma Community, the Sexual Right and Reproductive Health charge took place. Believe me, that was fun as several delegates kept pepetaing (only if you were around, can you understand) the ball, we also had an enlightment as regards the forth coming Nigerian Medical Students Association Female International Summit, we had the MSA presidents and Gen Sec Forum which was also graced by the President Ghana MSA Mr ERIC GYAN.

As if that was not enough, a football match took place with FAMSA delegates against  the host UCCMSA, with FAMSA DELEGATES winning the match by 1 goal to nill.

Friday came along as we went to BOTI FALLS and a Resort for for the excursion, it was a full day, pictures would indicate that below

On Saturday, it dawn on us all that the program was about coming to an end, like they say, all good things have an end, we had the caucus meeting, we had some deliberations and Identified the need for school to put into consideration making medical students available to attend more of such conferences and also supporting the students, the FAMSA ADMIN, ONAGA ZITA also gave a charge and expatiated on the functions of the FAMSA ADMIN which also included the rights of a FAMSITE.

The occasion was also graced by the FAMSA PRESIDENT. NJANG EMMANUEL who had nothing but good words to say and portrayed a leader that is committed to the root of all the running of FAMSA activities.

Schools that participated includes University Of Cape Coast, University for Development Sciences Tamale, Bowen University, Babcock Univerisity, Olabisis Onabanjo University, University Of Ibadan, University Of Lagos, Lagos State University, University Of Jos. Niger Delta University amidst others.

The West Africa Regional Excos lead By the West Africa Regional Coordinator Dr Olajide Oyegbile, the West Africa Regional Secretary General Dr Oyeleye Egunjobi, The West Africa Sponsorship Chairman Dr Ajibade Philip likewise the West Africa Regional Consultants and Liason Chairman Mr Abimbade Samuel and Mr Bakre Hamzat who did a wonderful work in making sure this was made possible with smiles on the face of FAMSITES, this could not have been possible without the support of the entire team which includes University For Development Sciences and their entire Executives, Also the Executives of University Of Capecoast led by the President Mr EKUBAN, Samuel, the West African Regional Executives, Mr Ope Adewale, Mr Oluwajuyigbe Mayowa, Mr Erinfolami Adeife, Mr Usigbe Victor, Mr Ola Sule, Miss sade olanubi, Mr Folorunso Goke.

 

Like they say pictures don’t lie, take a look as we plan and anticipate the next West Africa Regional Meeting early next year in Nigeria.

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