Lack of focus on cardiovascular disease in sub-Saharan Africa
Research into cardiovascular disease in Sub-Saharan Africa has been hampered by lack of funding and expertise. However, hospital- and community-based data reveal high economic and social costs of these diseases to the national health services and the communities, with the region facing a mixed burden of diseases related to poverty and infections, emergence of risk factors and diseases of affluence, as well as new cardiovascular problems caused by the HIV/AIDS epidemics. The availability of echocardiography has raised the profile of these conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, stimulating several projects led by local cardiologists under the umbrella of the Pan-African Society of Cardiology. This research may help to overcome the lack of focus on cardiovascular diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as increase the awareness of the public and policymakers on the burden of cardiovascular diseases.