Author + information
- Ernest C. Madu, MBBS⁎ (, )
- Edwin Tulloch-Reid, MBBS,
- Paul Edwards, MBBS,
- Dainia S. Baugh, MD and
- B. Waine Kong, PhD, JD
- ↵⁎Cardiovascular Medicine and Imaging Technology, Heart Institute of the Caribbean, 23 Balmoral Avenue, Kingston, Jamaica
We read with keen interest the commentary by Weaver (1) outlining the new international strategy of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). We note, however, the failure of this new strategic vision to address the greater need for developing sustainable local infrastructure in emerging economies.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease (CVD) is responsible for ≈17 million deaths annually, accounting for one-third of all global deaths, with nearly 85% of the global CVD mortality and disease burden occurring in developing countries (2). That is mainly due to the absence of appropriate infrastructure for specialized diagnostic and treatment services for CVDs.
It is estimated that by 2015, the number of deaths due to noncommunicable diseases in Africa will exceed those due to communicable diseases (3). The majority of these shifts will occur in the emerging CVD pandemic. By year 2020, the CVD mortality prevalence rate in sub-Saharan Africa will increase by 134% in men and by 126% in women (3). Furthermore, by 2025, prevalence rates for diabetes mellitus in developing countries will increase by 170%, from 84 million to 228 million, or more than 75% of the global burden of diabetes (3). The crisis at hand presents a combination of moral, socioeconomic, and security challenges for the global community.
This is why we believe that organizations such as the ACC can play a significant role in facilitating the development of local infrastructure and sustainable programs in developing economies. This is the concept that underlies the mission of the Heart Institute of the Caribbean, where we have shown that with careful planning, smart design, and appropriate use of technology, sustainable and affordable high-quality cardiovascular care anchored on aggressive prevention and treatment strategies can be developed in low-resource economies (4). We are now expanding our model to countries in Africa such as Nigeria, Ghana, and Tanzania. We see and encourage a major role for the ACC in promoting such models of cardiovascular care in developing countries. The type of care that is taken for granted in the U.S. and Europe can indeed be available globally.
The ACC must also explore collaborations in developing countries that will foster dialogue with cardiovascular specialists and encourage appropriate capacity building and development of multicultural competencies (5).
- American College of Cardiology Foundation
- Weaver D.W.
- ↵(2002) Integrated Management of Cardiovascular Risk: report of a WHO meeting, Geneva, Switzerland, July 9–12, 2002 (World Health Organization, Geneva).
- Heart Institute of the Caribbean
- Kong B.W.,
- Ntim W.