Towards the Eradication of RHD in Zimbabwe
The ZiMA (Zimbabwe Medical Association) Congress is an annual event where all the medical practitioners – both general and physicians – come together to discuss medical issues and challenges facing Zimbabwe.
The RHD group took advantage of the 2017 Congress to deliver presentations on the challenges posed by RHD in the country. The organising committee gave the RHD group one hour to present on rheumatic heart disease during prime time on the 19 August 2017.
In attendance were general practitioners, physicians and representatives from the Ministry of Health, as well as representatives from NGOs and international organizations such as WHO and UNICEF. Local health authorities, including City Health and Provincial Health Institutions, were represented by their directors.
The presentation was broken into two parts: the first part focused on the Epidemiology of Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease and on both Primary and Secondary prevention and the administration of Benzathine penicillin. The second part was a panel discussion which started with case presentations of the role of RHD and strokes and the problems of anticoagulation in pregnancy with RHD mothers who have mechanical prosthetic valves.
The presentations provoked a great deal of interest, and the ensuing discussions extended well beyond the hour that had been allocated. The meeting was a great success, and additional follow-up meetings are planned; these include an immediate event arranged for the National Association of Physicians of Zimbabwe (a group of specialists only) from 1-3 September 2017. This presentation has been organized partly at the request of physicians who had attended the ZiMA Congress.
For further information:
Zimbabwe Medical Association