with Dr. Prakash Raj Regmi, Program Director and Past President
A new monthly feature, our Member of the Month profiles the amazing achievements of World Heart Federation Members across the globe.
Established in 1988, the Nepal Heart Foundation (NHF) is a non-governmental organization working with a network of 65 district branches across the country to raise awareness of heart disease in Nepal. NHF achieves this by promoting diagnostic, curative and preventive heart care services, facilitating training activities, rehabilitating heart patients and advocating on the local, national and global stage for improved cardiovascular disease awareness.
We spoke to Dr. Prakash Raj Regmi, NHF Program Director and Past President, to find out more about NHF’s programmes and prioirities, and their membership of the World Heart Federation…
NHF’s flagship programmes
“NHF launched the National Rheumatic Fever (RF) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) Prevention and Control Program in 2007, in response to Nepal’s need for a comprehensive approach to RHD prevention and control. The program objectives include: early detection and registration of RF/RHD patients; the establishment of centres for safe administration of injection Benzathine Penicillin G for secondary prophylaxis of RHD; and leading on a national strategy for RF/RHD prevention and control which includes developing an RHD control toolkit.
“NHF has maintained a registry of 9,000 RHD patients, through which a decline of RHD has been documented from 1.35 to 0.8 per 1,000 children age 5 to 16 years. Hospital admissions for RHD have also decreased (from 35% to 10%), as has the need for surgical intervention for RHD.
“This is an incredible achievement which in 2014 led to a pilot project on primary prevention of RHD being launched by NHF, in collaboration with the government of Nepal and Rotary International. This will play a very important role in RHD control in Nepal.”
NHF’s top priorities for 2016
“For 2016 our main focus will be to strengthen our flagship National RHD Prevention and Control Program. Our other priorities are:
• Expansion of our organizational network from 65 to 75 districts of Nepal
• Advocacy for implementing CAD risk factors control like hypertension and diabetes in primary health care
• Expansion of heart care facilities in Lalitpur district in collaboration with Rotary International
• Throat and heart screening of 15,000 school children of Kathmandu valley with funding support from the Australian government through the Direct Aid Program (DAP)
• Research on use of Azithromycin as the first drug for primary prevention of Acute Rheumatic Fever
• Research on awareness level on RHD in Lalitpur with development of strategy for effective communication in RHD”
NHF on World Heart Federation membership
“The most valuable benefit to us of WHF membership is the technical support we receive for the capacity building of our organization, helping us to increase our impact. WHF has been very supportive to us in providing advocacy, awareness and training materials around CVD prevention and control, and RHD in particular.
“We are pleased to celebrate World Heart Day and take the lead on supporting the Go Red for Women campaign in Nepal, and these projects have played a large part in awareness generation.
“WHF leads the global campaign on CVD prevention and control, supporting its member organizations in various activities with materials, advocacy advice and other resources. We see its close working relationship with the World Health Organization and the United Nations as a major benefit, giving the organization the opportunity to influence policy makers of various nations for effective CVD prevention and control.
“I wish all the best to everyone at WHF putting their heart into saving the hearts of people around the world, especially in low-income countries. Working together makes us stronger and we can make a huge difference.”
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