7TH AFRICAN HEART NETWORK CONFERENCE
The heart apparently is an amazing organ, working every minute of every day, pumping blood and oxygen to every part of the body. Yet in Africa, the burden of cardiovascular disease, the huge loss of life and poor quality of life endured by those living with heart disease is sidelined because of the massive attention given to HIV/Aids, malaria and TB.
The African Heart Network, a coalition of Heart Foundation’s and organizations committed to the reduction and prevention of cardiovascular disease held their annual conference and workshop recently in Maputo, Mozambique ( Nov 21-23 2008) where the theme: Building Community Capacity for Heart Health was addressed.
The dedication and passion of each member was evident from the Activity reports. Events ranging from Heart Walks (so much nicer in French), to screening, Heart Mark for healthy food, conferences and seminars, research and surveys, awareness raising and information leaflets and of course massive events involving thousands to celebrate World Heart Day.
The meeting discussed a way forward for the Network linked to emerging continental action around Tobacco control and non-communicable diseases.
This was my first annual meeting and workshop as Executive Secretary of the Network. It was an opportunity to meet the members and interact in a way that is not possible over the internet. Bound by a common purpose and challenge to address the one disease in Africa that is preventable to a great degree by massive health promotion campaigns and education, there was enough energy to inspire and encourage collaborative action.
African Heart Network