The World Heart Federation offers a number of opportunities for partners to support and engage with our work and help us achieve our goal of cardiovascular health for everyone.
World Heart Day is the world’s biggest cardiovascular disease awareness-raising platform and growing stronger every year. The campaign is a way to project a positive message around cardiovascular disease, in particular, through campaign activation of the World Heart Federation members, active in over 100 countries worldwide. The messages of hope to combat the world’s number 1 killer will encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. This year-round communications platform reaches nearly 73 million healthcare professionals, patients and members of the public. World Heart Day leverages compelling narratives through the Heart Heroes and Make a Promise communication tools. Sponsors may engage in World Heart Day as Global Sponsors.
In 2014, WHF launched the process to develop and publish the first Roadmaps for cardiovascular disease. The objectives of our Roadmaps are three-fold: to outline a best practice approach to care for the detection, diagnosis, monitoring and follow up of a risk factor or specific aspect of CVD; to outline reported barriers along this pathway; and to propose potential solutions.
We aim to continually revisit and update specific Roadmap publications every 5 years. This update should summarize lessons learnt from the WHF Roadmaps use and implementation worldwide, as well as progress in detection, treatment and newly published research. In addition, the Roadmap will aim to summarize new evidence in epidemiology, treatment, emerging technologies or health systems and policies that can inform, support and improve the detection and management of people living with the condition, while also aiming to move specific agendas forward.
Since WHF first began publishing roadmaps, these resources have been used locally by our 200+ Member community as a basis to advocate for strengthening health policies in the field of CVD.
WHF have fully supported a standardised methodological process for the design and publication of WHF Roadmaps. A model for roadmap development will ensure standardisation of development, depicting a circular (not linear) approach. At each step within this model, WHF intends to follow a robust design using a transparent, evidence-informed approach.
Using the WHF cardiovascular disease Roadmaps as a basis for discussion, stakeholder roundtable discussions can be convened through WHF members, in order to discuss the solutions identified in the roadmap for the patient pathway to care. Collectively, stakeholders will typically include healthcare professionals, Ministry of Health and municipality representatives, academics, like-minded NGOs and industry in order to build a pertinent call to action for the national context. Roundtables are often the first time all concerned stakeholders are brought together and the Call-to-action is often followed up by specific actions to breakdown the siloed approach in which healthcare if often delivered. Roundtables can be convened in a live, virtual or hybrid format.
Worldwide, 463 million people – or one in 11 adults aged 20 to 79 years old – suffer from diabetes. They are twice more likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD), including coronary heart disease, heart failure and myocardial infarction, as well as stroke.
It is of great concern that one in two people with diabetes, namely 232 million people, are undiagnosed. And unless urgent and systemic action is taken, 629 million people are expected to suffer from diabetes by 2045.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the health vulnerabilities of people living with diabetes and/at-risk of CVD and exposed the under-investments in health systems for the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases.
Preventing and treating CVD in people living with diabetes call for sustained global action, investments in health systems and workforces, as well as multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary partnerships. It requires enforced prevention and detection of CVD among people living with diabetes, access to treatment & support for adherence to medication, as well as a better understanding of the interplay between NCD risk factors and the novel coronavirus.
In turn, these measures will make for more resilient populations, health systems and workforces when the next pandemic strikes.
For this reason, under the leadership of Prof. Laurence Sperling, Katz Professor & Founder of the Emory Center for Heart Disease, Chair of the WHF Roadmap on the Prevention of CVD among people living with Diabetes, will ensure our connection to best-in-class science in order to impactfully address the cardiovascular disease of those living with diabetes, an issue that has taken on epidemic proportions.
Since 2019, WHF has been working with the Kenya Cardiac Society (KCS) and the Kenya Ministry of Health (MoH) to implement the National Guidelines for Cardiovascular Disease Management in 11 counties (Isiolo, Kitui, Nyandarua, Kisumu, Nakuru, Marsabit, Elgeyo Marakwet, Bungoma, Kajiado, Kilifi and Kirinyaga) by training more than 3,500 health professionals at all levels to diagnose and manage CVD in an integrated care approach. The Guidelines are critical for integrating CVD management into primary care by streamlining cardiovascular care in the delivery of health services. A well-trained workforce is key to this integrated approach, especially considering that the Kenya context of one cardiologist for 1 million Kenyans. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WHF and KCS added access to digital learning tools for health professionals. This project is important because it helps integrate CVD prevention and management into primary care, improve knowledge of CVD among health professionals at all levels, and improve health outcomes for people living with CVD and associated co-morbidities such as hypertension.
In 2020, we kicked off the “Act with a woman’s heart” project in Colombia together with our members the Colombian Society of Cardiology and the Colombia Heart Foundation. With this project, we are empowering women health professionals and female leaders in black communities in Monteria, Cartajena and Apartado – underserved communities with high rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and limited access to healthcare, especially among women – to take a leading role in preventing and managing heart disease through online training, health screenings and follow-up with a focus on hypertension, support groups for adherence to medication & lifestyle recommendations, and awareness campaigns. By the end of 2021, we expect to reach 800-1000 women health professionals nationwide and 450 women health leaders in the 3 cities. We are focusing on women because they are underrepresented in the prevention & management of CVD, although equally or more at-risk than men, and because they lead in the adoption of healthy behaviours and in motivating others to follow.
The Salim Yusuf Emerging Leaders Programme was created in 2014 by WHF Past President, Professor Salim Yusuf, to form and develop a long-term cadre of experts who collaborate, research, and act to reduce premature mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) globally.
This WHF initiative is among the first international training programmes on cardiovascular health policy research, health systems and implementation science, and aims to build up capacity through professional development, mentorship and provision of networking opportunities for the selected candidates. The thematic focus of the Emerging Leaders cohort is based on the relevant WHF CVD Roadmap as this body of work is paramount to the WHF mission of translating science into policy.
Each year, 25 Emerging Leaders are selected through a competitive process based on several rounds of screening to ensure both top-quality candidate profiles as well as a geographical, gender and ethnic diversity. These are outstanding individuals who have demonstrated long-term promise during their early careers, and creativity and passion for improving cardiovascular health and preventing CVD in the thematic focus area. By participating in the Programme, these individuals will develop expertise in:
Furthermore, for a one-year period following the week-long cohort the Emerging Leaders will work in groups of 8-9 individuals to complete projects on health systems strengthening, evidence-based policy research and health policy. The project work will be resources and monitored by a WHF leader to ensure regular progress and the innovative nature of the outcome. These projects have often led to significant achievements in global cardiovascular health policy, such as:
World Heart Federation is actively engaging in addressing cardiovascular disease risk factors and conditions to create significant reductions in the cardiovascular disease burden in line with SDG 3 goals of reducing premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by 1/3 by 2030. This ambitious goal can only be achieved by pursuing specific policy action and promoting awareness of the manifestations of cardiovascular disease. Opportunities exist to promote awareness to the 73 million HCPs, patients and members of the public through the World Heart Day campaign platform, social media activities, surveys and regional communication initiatives.