Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally. According to the world health organization, an estimated of 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2019, representing 32% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attack and stroke.
Given the growing number of people of all age brackets coming down with cardiovascular disease in Nigeria, the Cardiovascular Unit of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital is the busiest clinic in the facility, this no doubt has made the cardiology unit of the Hospital the best in the country and West Africa region in terms of manpower and training.
Speaking to a Consultant, Physician, and Cardiologist a Professor of Medicine, Dr. Maclean Akpa says “the heart is the engine of the body hence should be looked after”. According to him, anything that affects the heart affects the lungs, kidneys and so many organs of the body.
Dr. Akpa opts that there is a need for stakeholders’ engagement and public enlightenment in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, which in turn will help educate on the need for lifestyle modifications to help mitigate the effect of these diseases.
Worried by the financial demands associated with accessing treatment for cardio-related issues, Dr. Akpa is advocating that the National Health Insurance Scheme( NHIS) coverage should be compressive in the treatment of cardio conditions.
Also speaking on the landmark achievement of the cardiovascular unit of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital( UPTH), Akpa noted that there are specialized Clinics that have been introduced to look at the peculiarity of each case.
These specialized clinics are; Heart Failure Clinic, and Rythme/Thrombosis Clinic, these are very specialized conditions, before now people tend to run abroad for this treatment, we run these clinics to offer these specialized services to the public, and it is available and accessible.
It is worth noting that the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital’s Cardiovascular Unit now has an intervention measures like the insertion of a Pacemaker machine amongst others.