8TH AFRICAN HEART NETWORK CONFERENCE
The 2009 annual meeting and workshop was an ambitious event which sought to deliver a collaborative approach with IFHA and PASCAR, celebrate World Heart Day and include a Tobacco Forum. The programme was packed with a range of topics and attended by over 50 delegates. In addition to the AHN members, the WHF President Prof Pekka Puska and WHF Chief Executive Officer, Helen Alderson was in attendance as well as representatives from several organisations including National Heart Forum and CNDC-Africa.
The AHN members provided an update of their individual Heart Foundation activities and the invited speakers shared experience and information about risk factors, research and action to address CVD. Members were able to attend the joint IFHA sessions and stay on for the PASCAR meeting which followed on from the 27th to 30th September.
The World Heart Day 27th September 2009 was marked with a walk and press conference on the Sunday. (See the AHN newsletter for full details)
The inclusion of the Tobacco Forum brought richness to the meeting and resulted in fruitful networking and a full update about the lobbying and other activities to reduce Tobacco use and progress on the ratification of the FCTC in Africa.
The official signing of the partnership MOU with OMRON our new sponsors also took place.
The sharing of information and expertise contributes to building the capacity of members. Each member country gave a presentation on a range of topics such as Diet Preventing Diseases, Salt and CVD; Preventing risk to heart health-children and hypertension risk factors. Other participants spoke on Cardiopulmonary resuscitation training in the workplace, heart mark programme and the Lagos state government screening project. The workshop sponsors included Family Health International, Omron and Pfizer.
The overlap with IFHA and PASCAR meetings presented some challenges and efforts are being made to address the issues. AHN stills needs to find a way to actively engage with the WHO NCD Action Plan. As a member of ATCA, the Tobacco Forum attracted activists from all over Africa and they followed on with a two day meeting after the AHN workshop.
African Heart Network