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Pan-African cardiologists visit Cardiff as part of drive to tackle heart disease

15 August 2023

PASCAR cardiologists on visit to Cardiff University

In one of the first post-Covid international CPD visits to Cardiff, cardiologists from across Africa spent a week at the University and University of Wales Hospital Cardiff, experiencing how an established heart failure facility operates.

The programme, created jointly by the University and PASCAR (The Pan African Society of Cardiology), aims to address concerning levels of heart disease in Africa, upskilling cardiologists to improve patient outcomes and increase awareness of heart failure management.

The visit to Cardiff allowed the visiting cardiologists to experience a ‘mature’ heart failure centre, immersing them in the day-to-day operations of such a facility. Activities included attending patient panels, observing clinical sessions and practical workshops, supplemented by masterclasses on subjects such as  communication skills and imaging.

One delegate noted:

I found this week very organized and filled with practical multidisciplinary approaches in managing heart failure seamlessly. The in-person [element] gave us the opportunity to network with colleagues around our continent.

The programme team also made sure our guests enjoyed their time in Wales’ capital city with a full social calendar, including a tour of Cardiff City Football Club and sampling some of the city’s diverse restaurants.

The week-long residential visit is the final element of the CPD programme, mainly conducted online due to the pandemic. UHW staff, University academics and the visiting cardiologists agreed that meeting in person - sharing ideas and making connections - has been hugely beneficial. One delegate reported he had secured a supply of pacemakers to distribute to patients, something they had not had access to before.

The programme team, including Charlotte Stephenson, the CPD Unit’s Business Development Manager for BLS College, is exploring further funding opportunities to continue running the CPD programme. The Heart Failure CPD programme is recognised as an essential project with practical, real-world impact.

The increasing rates of heart failure in Africa are a growing concern in need of thorough and urgent investigation. Several factors - including increased life expectancy and the higher risk of cardiovascular disease among African people - mean that this is an issue for people within Africa, and among the African diaspora here in the UK and across the world.As one of those from the diaspora, and as a former Health Minister in the Welsh Government, this is an issue which I take great interest in. You have my full support for the work you are doing here in Wales, in healthcare settings in Africa, and across the world, and I'm really proud that Cardiff University is facilitating such an important programme.
Vaughan Gethin, Minister for the Economy of Wales

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