The Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) to Reduce Inequality in Heart Disease focuses on improving the heart health and outcomes of groups and communities i.e. Regional Australians, Indigenous Australians and International Health

Collaborative Meeting, Maputo, April 2015

Prof. Karen Sliwa, Prof. Simon Stewart (Visiting Professor, Hatter Institute, University of Cape Town), Dr. Kim Lamont NIH Millenium Postdoctoral Fellow) and Mrs. Olivia Briton (Study Monitor) participated in several activities in the week 30th March – 2nd April 2015.


1. Prof. Karen Sliwa (South Africa), Prof. Albertino Damasceno (Eduardo Modlane University, Maputo, Mozambique), Prof Simon Stewart (Australia), Dr. Kim Lamont (South Africa) and Prof. Ana Mocumbi (National Health Institute, Maputo, Mozambique) were invited to give lectures at an educational workshop, held on 30th March at the Southern Sun Hotel, Maputo. The workshop was endorsed by the Mozambican College of Cardiology and was attended by more than 40 cardiologists, gynaecologists, general physicians and fellows.


Lectures by Prof. Sliwa were on Cardiovascular Disease in pregnancy and the role of point-of-care biomarker testing, as well as management of valve disease in pregnancy. Prof. Simon Stewart lectured on home-based vs clinic follow-up and the dramatic benefit derived from the former. Dr Kim Lamont gave a presentation on electronic engagement of pregnant women through various channels of communication such as SMS and, once again, I will forward the presentation as soon as it is available. Prof. Damsceno summarized the published evidence of the THESUS acute heart failure study, as well as the papers reporting on the ECG characteristics, the relevance of renal function and the impact on gender in that population. Prof. Mocumbi provided a detailed review on prevention and management of rheumatic heart disease.


Funding for this 5-hour workshop was provided by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and the   Fundo Nacional De Investigacao Mozambique (FNI), as part of a partnership agreement between the two countries, Sanofi Aventis (Mozambique), Medtronic South Africa, Heart Failure Society of South Africa (HEFSSA) and the Pan African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR). The workshop also included lectures show-casing joint partnerships in the areas of heart failure as well as pulmonary hypertension.


2. Prof. Sliwa and Mrs. Olivia Briton also met with Prof. Albertino Damasceno and his team to discuss the BEHAF study, including updates on recruitment and retention. Prof Damasceno actively participates in this important study and has already recruited 57 patients. The team consisting of Dr. Inácio Ribaué, Dr. Celia Novela and Dr. Valério Govo discussed challenges with recruitment, case report forms (CRFs) and other related aspects at the meeting and dinner


3. Sliwa, Prof. Stewart, Dr. Lamont and Mrs Olivia Briton visited Prof. Ana Mocumbi’s new research site at Mavalane Hospital, where they had the opportunity to meet the team (Dr Naisa Manafe, Dr Fauzo Valá; nurses Fulgência Simião and Rosália Nhachengo) and to learn about their various research which covers aspects of cardiovascular disease presentation at this secondary level hospital, research in heart failure related to HIV, the recruitment of patients into the pulmonary hypertension cohort study (PAPUCO) and other research activities. Prof. Mocumbi highlighted their research on the use of echocardiography and ultrasound screening at secondary level hospitals, which is part of the NIH-Fogarty IMEPI-funded scheme.


4. PASCAR Heart Failure Task Force Group meeting. We used this opportunity of a face-to-face meeting of colleagues interested in heart failure in Africa to form the PASCAR Heart Failure Task Force Group and to plan the 4-hour symposium, which will take place at the upcoming PASCAR meeting (Tunisia, 4-7 October 2015).


Heart failure is a common and serious problem in Africa due to rheumatic heart disease, cardiomyopathy and poorly managed hypertension. In the past decade, several of us have reported substantially on this topic. However, it is time to come up with a formal way of addressing this syndrome by targeted interventional studies. We have agreed to draft a letter inviting other colleagues from Africa to join the Heart Failure Taskforce. We are thankful to Medtronic (Africa) (Pty) Ltd for funding our first symposium which will take place in Tunisia, just prior to the PASCAR Meeting.


5. PASCAR Heart of Africa book

Prof Simon Stewart presented the outline of the PASCAR Heart of Africa book, which will summarise key publications (from the last decade) originating from Africa. This will cover the conditions that are particularly common to this continent such as hypertension, rheumatic heart disease, peripartum and other cardiomyopathies, tuberculous pericarditis, pulmonary hypertension and other conditions.


Funding for the book has been obtained from the Baker IDI, Melbourne, Australia (Prof Simon Stewart). This funding will cover the cost of 100 hard copies, as well as electronic copies. We will discuss with Prof Bongani Mayosi, President of PASCAR, and the Executive Committee that the book should be downloadable from the PASCAR website for a nominal fee, which could contribute to the PASCAR travel scholarship.


6. Lectures at Ministry

Prof. Karen Sliwa has been invited to give a lecture on ‘how to do research in a low-resource set up’ at the local ministry.