Heart Friends Around the World took part in the First Panafrican Congress of Cardiology held in Nairobi, Kenia, from 13 to 16 May 2007.
Dr Flavio Burgarella, founder and present executive director of the HFATW, presented the scientific and humanitarian aims of the Association, which has its headquarters in Bergamo, Italy, in Via Vittorio Emanuele 21. One of its aims is the publishing and distribution of free copies of health educational material, particularly aimed at the safeguard of a healthy heart, such as “Pinocchio and the Sore Throat” – a short story for the prevention of Rheumatic Fever, a condition, still endemic in Africa today, which can damage the heart valves after a common tonsillitis, and “Women’s Heart” – a booklet for the prevention of conditions such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes, which are now starting to emerge also in the “Dark Continent” and whose consequences (myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure) represent the first cause for death since they now come before the death rate caused by infectious diseases even in Sub-Saharian Africa.
Cardiologists from different African countries, such as Kenia, Camerum, Angola, Mozambico, Nigeria and Ethiopia, have become friends with “Heart Friends” and have decided to set up “organized groups” to promote the Association’s ideas and programmes. In addition to this, a group of medical students at the University of Nairobi will be founded, coordinated by the student Kevin Ongeti and by Dr Christine Yulo-Jowi who has already been to Bergamo as she took part in the programme of the International Heart School of Prof. Parenzan. It will be affiliated to the Association and work autonomously on educational programmes in association with other students groups already active in the Universities of Venezuela and Slovak Republic.
Daniel Lemogoum (Cameroon)
Rosa Cunha (Angola) / Huda Hamid Mohamed El Hassan (Sudan)
Solomon Dambanchi (Nigeria)
Albertino Damasceno (Mozambique)
Albert G.B. Amoah (Ghana)
Amha Gebremedhin (Ethiopia)
Congo Mbenza (Congo) / Porfirio Nordet (WHO expert – Cuba)
An “Ola” is about to be formed among medical students from different countries, linked with “Heart Friends” which raises hopes for a correct life style, aimed at preserving health. Dr Flavio Burgarella, as a WHO guest, will give a presentation about his African experience at the meeting organized by the Welcome Trust Foundation in London from 6th to 9th June. At this meeting a restricted group of experts will meet to study strategies to improve health in low- and medium-income countries, where nowadays is present the 80% of total burden of cardiovascular diseases and where the new health policies of prevention have not yet been exported to. The African adventure of the “Friends” will continue in Camerun where we are invited from 24-27 September by Dr Daniel Lemogoum, President of the African Society of Hypertension.
Flavio e Cristina