RHD Action at the 66th WHO African Regional Committee Meeting
The World Heart Federation – a founding member of RHD Action – was delighted to participate in the 66th African Regional Committee Meeting of the World Health Organization WHO, which was held from 19-23 August 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The World Heart Federation (WHF) was represented by Dr Anastase Dzudie, member of the PASCAR Council and consultant cardiologist at Douala General Hospital in Cameroon.
The WHO Regional Meetings are convened annually to set regional policy on pressing health issues and to approve budgets and programmes of work. They also gather the important health actors and decision-makers of one Region together at a time, presenting valuable opportunities to advocate for improved rheumatic heart disease (RHD) prevention and control.
The World Heart Federation submitted two statements to the committee: the first related to Agenda Item 16: Health in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In this statement, the World Heart Federation highlighted the need to take urgent action to tackle NCDs – and in particular cardiovascular disease (CVD) – as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, noting that CVDs such as rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and congenital heart disease afflict populations at a younger age in the region than elsewhere.
The WHF submitted a second statement on Agenda Item 11 - the Regional Implementation of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030. In this statement the WHF emphasised the necessity of addressing RHD to improving maternal and child health outcomes – recommended interventions included integrating maternal health and RHD programmes, and providing ante-natal care at the primary health care level for all pregnant women.