Dear Colleagues and Friends,
It is our great pleasure to share with you the humanitarian medical/surgical activities performed by PASCaTS and its taskforce the Global heart Care (GHC). The non-invasive heart teams of PASCaTS has undertaken the educational programs while the teams of Global Heart Care perform the clinical interventional cardiac procedures.
In 2023, PASCaTS-GHC in collaboration with the German Heart Centre Charité Berlin, University Medical Centre, Leiden, University of Free State, Bloemfontein and La Paz and Ramon y Cajal Hospitals, Madrid undertook ten (10) remarkable humanitarian missions to develop and strengthen the infrastructure of cardiovascular health systems in Ghana. The clinical missions (screening, detection, treatment and recovery) encompassed capacity building progrograms in pediatric intensive care nursing in Ghana and advance pediatric cardiology in The Netherlands. Below you find some highlights of our accomplishments:
Missions and activities in Africa 2023
1. February 2023: Accra Heart Walk. A stress test for asymptomatic heart disease
2. March 2023: Screening and recruitment with local cardiologist. Visiting team, pediatric anesthesiology and pediatric cardiac surgery, Accra, Ghana
3. May 2023: Pediatric Interventional Cardiac Surgery, UGMC, Acra
4. October 2023: Screening and recruitment, The Bank hospital, Accra
5. November 2023: Pediatric Intensive care nursing course, Accra, PICU, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra - Pediatric cardiology clinics, Children’s hospital and National Cardiothoracic Centre, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana
6. December 2023: Advance pediatric cardiologay course for four Ghanaian general cardiologists at the University Medical Centres in Leiden and Amsterdam.
Objectives to Connect Africa
PASCaTS aims at developing Hospital Partnership Programs in Africa to promote south-south cardiovascular educational and surgical skill training in the context of networking (AfriCaTS Net) and collection of data on cardiac surgery capacity and performance (AfriCaTS Database) to enhance team work and interdisciplinary communication system.
It operates in solidarity and in collaboration with teams from partner hospitals, the German Heart Center Charite Berlin, Leiden and Amsterdam Uniniversity Medical Centres and La Paz and Ramon y for developing and strengthening cardiac surgery and cardiology services under the motto " Build, Operate and Transfer".
Joint EACTS/PASCaTS session at the 37th annual meeting of EACTS in Vienna, 4-7th October 2023.
This year’s theme was”Clinical and translational cardiac surgery in low volume settings: Impact on sustainability and resilience in the global south health system”. Among other presentations by Dr. Emily Farkas, Prof. Charles Yankah and Dr. Mateo Marin-Cuartas, Leipzig Heart Centre was the presentation by Professor Francis Smit , HOD, Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Free State, Bloemf held on 5th October 2023entitled
“Concomitant tricuspid annuloplasty and rheumatic mitral valve surgery: Multi-centre non-randomized clinical studies in Africa”.
It was the results of the first multi-centre non-radomized studies by four African heart centres, Algeria, Mozambique, South Africa and Tunesia initiated by PASCaTS.
We are grateful to our faculty, the leadership of EACTS and the German Heart Center Berlin - Charité University Hospital Berlin for supporting our cause and especially to the President of EACTS, Professor Perrier who moderated the session with me. The joint session had a surprise participant, Hon. Benjamin Hounkpatin, Minister of Health of Republic of Benin who was the Guest speaker of EACTS. A special thanks goes to our sponsors for supporting our cardiovascular learning hub.
EACTS/PASCaTS Excellence Award (1000 Eur) 2023 for the best abstract for the clinical studies on “Rheumatic Heart Valve Repair & Aortic Neo-Cusp Reconstruction”
The abstract selected for the award was entitled “Mid-term results of Ozaki aortic valve neocuspidization for rheumatic aortic valve disease: a prospective multicenter trial” and presented by the winner Associate Professor, Dr. M. Sanad and his team. Professor Yankah present at the presentation.
The aims of the award are to.
1. to inspire young surgeons practicing in rheumatic fever/heart valve disease endemic regions to learn rheumatic heart valve repair.
2. to promote competence in reconstructive rheumatic heart valve repair procedures that will cultivate a broader knowledge for clinical surgical practices andencourage young surgeons to discover research opportunities in heart valve repair techniques. Their scientific achievements would eventually impact their horizon for innovations in their profession.
The goal is to promote and champion athrombogenic heart valve repair procedures in developing countries for the management of rheumatic valve disease.
Road map for 2024
We are continuing our journey in the new year 2024 to meet old and new obstacles, challenges and at the same time reimagining new opportunities for improving north south and south- south development cooperation towards resilience in cardiovascular healthcare for the underserved communities in Africa.
Our road map for 2024 includes:
1. Cardiac interventional and surgical missions in Ghana.
2. To promote simulation courses in cardiac surgery training in African regions.
3. Training the trainers in cardiac surgery courses.
4. To develop and operate “Mobile Cardiology Clinics”
5. Echocardiography courses for residents and fellows in cardiology
6. Critical care management
to strengthen the infrastructure of the ongoing cardiac programs of the local teams.
Supporting impoverished children with congenital heart disease
It is our goal to provide access to diagnostics, treatment and recovery for all children with congenital heart disease and preventable rheumatic heart disease to improve the current rate of 2% accessibility.
Our missions require passionate and dedicated expert teams who will empower interdisciplinary collaboration with the local teams to accomplish the tasks ahead.
We welcome all cardiovascular experts to join the missions of GHC in Africa in 2024. And beyond.
On behalf of the PASCaTS/GHC, I wish you and your family good health and happiness in peace and good health in the new year.
Prof. Charles Yankah, MD, PhD, FETCS
Mobil: +49-172 -3020143
Director, Humanitarian Cardiac Surgery – GHC
Budapester Str. 39, D- 10787 Berlin
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobil: +49-172 -3020143