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Posted on Friday, 3 March 2017 12:01

- a course by and for the African Cardiovascular Community - to be held in Century City Conference Centre from 23 - 25 March 2017.

Programme is now availalbe.


Programme Announcement.pdf 216.8K 3 Mar 17 12:01

NEWS from WHF: Applications for Emerging Leaders 2016-2017 are now being taken.

Posted on Friday, 9 December 2016 11:42

The 2016-2017 cohort marks the fourth year of the World Heart Federation Emerging Leaders programme and will focus on access to essential medicines. Applications are now open until 15 January 2017.

All Emerging Leaders participants will be required to take part in online training, a five-day think tank seminar from 18 to 23 June 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa, and collaborative group work based on proposals developed during the seminar with seed funding support from the World Heart Federation from meritorious applications.

If you are interested in applying, please complete the application. Applications will be accepted until 15 January 2017. Announcement of 2016-2017 Emerging Leaders will take place 15 March 2017.

 For more information visit the Emerging Leaders website

Why heart disease is on the rise in South Africa

Posted on Thursday, 29 September 2016 13:24

In South Africa, 210 people die from heart disease every day. A lack of awareness around cardiovascular disease means many people go undiagnosed and untreated until it is too late. Paediatric cardiologist and President of the South African Heart Association Dr Liesl Zühlke explained the challenges around cardiovascular diseases to The Conversation Africa. Read the full article on The Conservation

World Heart Day on 29 September

Posted on Wednesday, 21 September 2016 20:22

World Heart Day takes place on 29 September every year and is an opportunity for people across the globe to take part in the world’s biggest intervention against cardiovascular disease (CVD).  

This World Heart Day our focus is on creating heart-healthy environments by ensuring that people are able to make heart-healthy choices wherever they live, work and play. World Heart Day encourages us all to reduce our cardiovascular risk and promote a heart-healthy planet for all.  

The World Heart Federation, The South African Heart and Stroke Foundation and the South African Heart Association aim to prevent and control these diseases through awareness campaigns and actions, by promoting the exchange of information, ideas and science among those involved in cardiovascular care, and advocating for disease prevention and control by promoting a healthy lifestyle at individual, community and policy maker level.  

In South Africa

  • Non-communicable disease (NCDs), including CVDs are estimated to account for 43% of total adult deaths in South Africa.
  • CVDs account for almost a fifth (18%) of these deaths.
  • 210 people die from heart disease every day.
  • Every hour at least 5 South Africans have a heart attack. 
  • Some of the CVD related risks factors in adults in South Africa are outlined below: - 18% of the population smoke tobacco. - 11 litres of pure alcohol is consumed per person. - 10% of individuals, 15 years and older, are pre-hypertensive. - 1 in 3 South African adults (33.7%) have hypertension which can increase the risk of heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease or stroke. - Hypertension is worsened by poor eating habits, obesity, lack of physical activity and excessive alcohol intake. - Obesity due to nutrient-poor food and high sugar beverages is common. - Cardiac Disease in Maternity is an important contributor to maternal death beyond the standard date of reporting (42 days).   

Obesity in South Africa

  • SA has the highest rate of obesity in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 70% of women and a third of men in South Africa are classified as overweight or obese.
  • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 5 boys between the ages 2-14 years are overweight or obese.     

Taking action:

  • In February 2016, South Africa became the first African country to announce plans to introduce a new tax on sugar-sweetened drinks. This ”sugar tax” will come into force from April 2017. This is based on data that one in five South Africans consume an excessive amount of sugar.
  • In 2013, the South African Government introduced legislation in line with targets set to reduce salt intake to less than 5g a day per person by 2020.  

Children get heart disease too:

  • Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect, affecting 8 in 1000 children.
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease is the most common acquired heart disease and can affect up to 2% of schoolchildren living in vulnerable situations. It is caused by an untreated sore throat.
  • Although both of these can be treated by early diagnosis and timely surgery, this is not available in every part of country and very few children are able to access life-saving surgery in Africa.  

Preventing CVD and promoting overall health and well-being 

  • Public health messaging:  
  • Focus on knowing “your numbers”- screen for HDL, LDL cholesterol and hypertension.
  • Live a healthy life-style: eat healthy and make smart food choices (reduce salt and sugar intake and increase fruit and vegetable consumption), engage in physical activity (30 minutes a day for 5 days a week), avoid smoking, reduce stress and emotional distress.
  • Awareness and knowledge of genetic pre-disposition (familial factors) and life stage (middle and older adult years) as risk factors for CVD onset.
  • Once diagnosed with CVD, stay on treatment, talk to the doctor, nurse and allied health practitioner.
  • Empower individuals, families and communities to pursue one goal - improve overall health and prevent CVD onset.
  • Shortness of breath in pregnancy or postpartum can be a sign of a heart problem and needs to be checked up.  




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Last updated Friday, 23 September 2016 20:41

Introducing the New President of SA Heart

Posted on Tuesday, 20 September 2016 09:45

Dr Liesl Zühlke says she is very honoured to be taking over as president of SA Heart from Prof Karen Sliwa for the next two years. "I look forward to working with you all to advocate for cardiovascular disease prevention, management and control in South Africa and to represent the interests of all our members. Please find attached a letter of introduction and my vision for my tenure"


letter.pdf 318.9K 20 Sep 16 09:45
SA Heart ass Shortened .pdf 93.2K 20 Sep 16 09:45


Posted on Monday, 19 September 2016 09:25

Everyone at SA Heart would like to convey our sincere condolences to Elizabeth Schaafsma on the passing of her mother after a long but bravely borne illness.

New leadership in SA Heart

Posted on Saturday, 10 September 2016 12:32

During the AGM of SA Heart on the evening of 9 September, Dr Liesl Zühlke took over as new President of SA Heart, and Dr Lungile Pepeta became the Vice President. Prof Karen Sliwa who has led the Association through the past two years, continues in the role of Immediate Past President. Prof Smit remains our treasurer, while the chairs of the standing committees will be elected from amongst the newly elected committee members of the respective committees. During the gala celebration Prof Anton Doubell was awarded Honorary membership of SA Heart for the role he played in establishing the Association as well as leading it for a double term in the early years. He was also acknowledged for all his enthusiasm and dedication in initiating and then growing the SA Heart Journal.

Passing of Mrs Rusty Brink

Posted on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 15:41

It is with sadness that we at SA Heart have learnt of the passing of Mrs Rusty Brink, mother of Prof Paul Brink and widow of Prof Brink Snr.

Our sincere condolences to Prof Brink, and the family of friends of Mrs Brink.

SA Heart AGM and Nomination for office bearers

Posted on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 11:25

The SA Heart® NPC AGM will take place on Friday 9th September 2016 at 17h30 in the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Nomination for office bearers of the SA Heart Executive (treasurer and vice president), committee members for all four standing committees as well as directors for the SA Heart NPC board commences on 14 July 2016 and runs up noon on 12 August 2016.

Please note that only fully paid up ordinary or honorary members can nominate and be nominated for any of these posts. To check your account status, please use your email address to log in on the SA Heart membership portal in top right hand corner of this webpage and ensure you are paid up.

Voting has been made easy and effective, using online, automated application controls that ensure that valid votes are processed accurately and completely.

Please follow this link http://www.mpconsulting.co.za/client/voting/view/48 to create a profile for the nomination and voting platform and follow the instructions on this site. If you have participated in the nomination or voting process in the previous year, or any SAMA elections, your profile is already registered and you can simply log in. Login is required, clicking any other tabs on the website with this link will not take you further in the process.

Please note, when not following the link, you need to type the URL address into the URL window, not into a search engine look up field as a ‘google search’ will not bring up the correct site.

The voting process is handled independently by the Medical Practice Consulting group to ensure transparency and good governance.

Nominees that have been nominated by at least two members into any position will be asked to avail themselves for that post/s and progress into the voting phase.

Voting will commence on the same platform on 18 August 2016.

Thank you for supporting your Association by actively participating in this process.


Johanna Ralston highlights key themes, events and announcements from WCC 2016

Posted on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 16:33

Last week, as you know, the World Heart Federation had the honour of hosting our biennial World Congress of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Health in Mexico City. Thank you to everyone - from our event organizers and hosts to our esteemed speakers, delegates, exhibitors, sponsors and, of course, WHF members - for making the event so stimulating and inspiring. It was wonderful to see the cardiovascular community coming together around our shared goal of a 25% reduction in premature mortality from cardiovascular disease by 2025.

 So much ground was covered in a packed four days that it would be impossible for me to mention everything here. But I would like to give just a few highlights from Mexico in this, our last WCC 2016 Congress News...


The Mexico Declaration

One of the most significant events of Congress came when leading global organizations signed the Mexico Declaration for Circulatory Health, the first ever global commitment of its kind.  The declaration was the culmination of the Global Summit on Circulatory Health and Shared Challenges of 25by25, which took place on the opening day of WCC 2016. It is recognition that, unless health professionals, governments, businesses and the public find a common voice that paves the way for much-needed action now, the number of premature deaths as a result of cardiovascular diseases will keep increasing.


Women and CVD

Heart disease and stroke are the number one killer of women around the world, responsible for over two million premature deaths in women each year. This makes preventing and managing CVDs in women absolutely vital if we are to meet our 25by25 target.


WCC 2016 placed a focus on women's heart health, in particular when WHF and our members the American Heart Association (AHA) convened professionals, policy experts and scientists from around the world at the 5th International Conference of Women, Heart Disease and Stroke. We were also pleased to encourage all delegates to wear red on 6 June in support of AHA's Go Red For Women awareness-raising campaign.


A focus on Latin America and tobacco

On the first day of Congress, we were able to highlight new research that shows the economic burden of heart disease in Latin America for the first time: a figure that totalled over US$30.9bn in 2015. The full research report was presented at WCC 2016 and discussions were held on the latest technological advances and practical examples of how local interventions from different countries can help save lives.


While in Mexico our aim was to leave a lasting legacy by using Congress as a platform to support adoption of a national tobacco control law, supporting the #LibredeHumo campaign to make Mexico smoke-free. To this end we encouraged delegates and the wider CV community to sign the campaign petition, which was presented in the Mexican Senate on 7 June, and we were delighted to host the wedding of Jeff the Diseased Lung and Lupita the Broken Heart to raise awareness of the campaign.


Dr Eduardo Bianco from the Framework Convention Alliance also presented the World Heart Federation's CVD Roadmap on Tobacco Control: a tool for prioritizing actions for reducing prevalence of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure by implementing the global tobacco control treaty (WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control).


Rheumatic Heart Disease

The World Heart Federation has a proud tradition of supporting RHD control over a number of decades. In particular, we have been able to keep RHD on the global agenda following the conclusion of the WHO Global Programme for the Prevention and Control of RF/RHD in 2002. That programme was the first concerted global effort to understand the burden of this disease and to support countries to deliver RHD control activities.


We were delighted to co-host the RHD Action reception at WCC 2016, with speakers including Dr Liesl Zühlke and Professor Jonathan Carapetis, Co-Directors RhEACH, the former responsible officer for the WHO Global Programme, Dr Porfirio Nordet, Dr Oyere Onuma, Medical Officer for CVD at the World Health Organization and Paurvi Bhatt from Medtronic Foundation.


We also made our own RHD Roadmap available for consultation, and saw the launch of the Global RHD Status Report as well as the announcement of INVICTUS, the biggest ever RHD patient trial about which Dr Salim Yusuf, President of the World Heart Federation and Chairman of the Steering Committee of INVICTUS, commented:


“The launch of the RHD patient registry and trial programme on such a global scale forms a really key part of the international efforts underway to reduce RHD mortality rates and help meet the WHO 25by25 target. The registry of 20,000 patients from across all continents is ambitious but must be fulfilled if real progress is to be made and effective measures developed for those countries most affected to urgently put in place.”


Increasing worldwide use of 'polypills'

At the end of Congress, physicians, researchers, economists, policymakers and industry experts met to discuss the use of fixed dose combinations pills, or 'polypills', as a key strategy to increase adherence to life-saving medications for patients with CVD.


Dr Salim Yusuf, President of the World Heart Federation and co-chair of the polypill initiative, said:


“Many of the discussions at this year’s World Congress of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Health have centred on reducing premature cardiovascular morality and the WHF priority areas of hypertension control, tobacco control and secondary prevention.


“Use of medicines for secondary prevention of CVD is extremely inadequate in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and is suboptimal in high-income countries. In LMICs, these drugs are not available and when available, they are often not affordable. Use of a ‘polypill’ can improve affordability and access to these lifesaving drugs.”


A rallying call to arms

At the start of Congress we announced a new joint WHF/AHA scientific statement that shows premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) could rise by a third by 2025 worldwide. In the closing ceremony of WCC 2016, Dr Salim Yusuf ended with a rallying call to for experts and influencers worldwide to unite to accelerate the fight for heart health.


Over the course of the four days, we catalysed the global CVD community’s commitment and energy towards common goals and speaking with one voice. Now it is time to translate commitment into action, including ensuring we all support the WHO Global Action plan and develop national plans and systems to support heart health.

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