Mr Carl Engleman, Country Manager, Pfizer Pharmaceutical in Nigeria and East African Region, says statistics revealed that cardiovascular disease is one of the top 10 causes of death in Africa.
He said complications such as stroke and renal disease are becoming increasingly common and modifiable risk factors such as hypertension, raised cholesterol, obesity, tobacco use and physical inactivity are the key drivers of the disease
Mr Engleman noted that the challenge for the health system is to balance the need for acute care for communicable disease and the essence for long term chronic disease management.
He said this in Accra at this year’s Cardiovascular Summit aimed at improving the awareness and management of common cardiovascular risk factors such as stroke across the African continent.
The summit provided healthcare practitioners an avenue to engage in discussions on the latest trends in cardiovascular disease, its management, and encourage the use of general treatment guidelines and recommendations for the management of patients with cardiovascular disease.
The event is accredited for the award of continuing medical education points to attending clinicians in partnership with Ghana Society of Hypertension and Cardiology.
The summit is part of the ongoing contribution of Pfizer to the advancement of medical knowledge and patients care in Ghana.
Mr Engleman said managing the disease requires education and support to assist patients with lifestyle changes to ensure that the latest clinical guidelines are implemented effectively across the country.
Dr Augusina Charway-Felli, a Neurologist at the Medical Division of the 37 Military Hospital, explained that stroke is the sudden onset of focal or global neurological deficit of vascular origin with a symptoms of sudden confusion, trouble in understanding or speaking, and breath loss or consciousness.
Dr Felli commended Ghana for establishing a stroke unit at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital with 10 CT scans machines and five RMI machines, helping in the treatment of the disease.
She called for the improvement of population awareness of the disease, improve access to healthcare and develop infrastructure for appropriate healthcare delivery in the country.
Dr David Waters, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Medicine at the University of California, US urged health practitioners to adhere to guidelines for treatment of cholesterol and blood pressure.
Mr Kodjo Soroh, Medical Director of Pfizer Worldwide Bio-Pharmaceutical Business, said the summit focused on stroke because of the prevalence rate and statistics revealed that seven million people would die of the disease every year.
He said the World Health Organisation states that stroke is one of the four diseases that causes death and called on all to live healthy lifestyles as well as exercise a lot to prevent such illnesses. GNA