On 05-07 March, the World Heart Federation’s (WHF) Policy and Advocacy team travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to take part in the 4th All Africa Workshop on Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease.
The Policy and Advocacy team and WHF member Elizabeth Gatumia (Kenyan-Heart National Foundation) stand next to the ratified AU Communiqué on RHD.
The meeting was coordinated by WHF’s continental member for Africa, PASCAR (Pan-African Society of Cardiology) and attended by high-level delegates from the African Union (AU) as well as national RHD focal points from civil society, many of whom are World Heart Federation members.
The purpose of the meeting was to draw up a regional implementation plan for the AU Communiqué on rheumatic heart disease (RHD), which has been ratified by 54 African heads of state. To inform decision-making on this, WHF was asked to present on the global health policy environment and its effects on RHD prevention and control. The team also presented the work of RHD Action, the movement launched in 2015 by WHF, RhEACH and Medtronic Philanthropy to consign RHD to the history books.
By the end of the intense three-day meeting, delegates had agreed on key objectives for each action point of the AU Communiqué. These will be crucial guides for our work on eradicating RHD on the African continent within our lifetime.