Communique Issued at the End of the 50th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference & Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Nigerian Cardiac Society


Posted on: Mon 25-04-2022

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 50TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE & GOLDEN JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS OF THE NIGERIAN CARDIAC SOCIETY TAGGED EKO 2021 (#[email protected]) HELD FROM THE 20TH TO 24TH SEPTEMBER 2021 AT THE ORIENTAL HOTEL, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS. 

PREAMBLE 

The 50th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference (AGSM) and Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Nigerian Cardiac Society (Eko 2021; #[email protected]) held from the 22nd to 24th of September 2021 at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. The theme of the AGSM was 'Delivering Cardiovascular Care in Emergency/Disaster Situations'. Sub-themes were: 'Nigerian Cardiac Society @50: How far have we come, where are we now; Quo Vadis? — Dare to Dream' and 'Telehealth and Artificial intelligence in Cardiovascular Care'. The conference was the first hybrid AGSM of the Society. 

The meeting was preceded by virtual preconference workshops. The first in the series of the preconference workshops was the 8th Annual Nigerian Cardiovascular Symposium which held between 4th and 19th of September 2021 in collaboration with the Cardiovascular Educational Foundation (CEF). The preconference workshops for Adult Cardiology, Allied Professionals, Cardiac Surgery, and Paediatric Cardiology held between 20th and 21st of September 2021.

About 300 delegates were in attendance comprising Adult Cardiologists, Cardiothoracic Surgeons, Paediatric Cardiologists, Anaesthetists, Intensivists, Radiologists, Cardiovascular care Nurses, Perfusionist, Cardiac technicians, local and international partners, members of the pharmaceutical industry and invited dignitaries. 

The opening ceremony and scientific conference held on the 22nd of September 2021 under the distinguished Chairmanship of Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos. Two (2) members of the Nigerian Cardiac Society were awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the Nigerian Cardiac Society (FNCS) during the opening ceremony. Eleven new members and twenty-five associate members were admitted into the Society in an induction ceremony. 

Two named lectures were eminently delivered during the conference. The Annual AsuquoAntia Memorial Lecture was delivered by Professor Fausto J. Pinto, the President, World Heart Federation during the opening ceremony while the Fabian Udekwu Memorial lecture was delivered by Professor MAC Aghaji on the 23rd of September 2021. 

Awards were given to deserving State Government, Public and Private Hospitals who have contributed infrastructural and manpower development in the advancement of cardiovascular care in Nigeria. Awards were also presented to honour Foundation members, past Presidents and Secretaries of the Society for their immense contributions to the growth of the Society. 

One hundred scientific papers were presented as abstracts (oral and moderated posters) during the conference. There were also robust discussions during the six symposia that held as plenary and parallel sessions. 

OBSERVATIONS 

The Nigerian Cardiac Society noted the following issues relating to the theme and sub-themes: 

1. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the status quo and delivery of cardiovascular care in Nigeria. 

2. Increased use of innovations to advance cardiovascular care delivery during and post-lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic 

3. Lack of structured national and transnational policies guiding the growing use of telemedicine in Nigeria. 

4. The COVID-19 pandemic restricted medical tourism and paradoxically boosted the number of paediatric and adult cardiac surgeries and interventional procedures in Nigeria. However, access to cardiovascular healthcare services is still grossly inadequate with only three centres that offer routine open-heart surgery and cardiac interventional procedures for children in Nigeria while cardiac diseases in children contribute a great percentage of capital flight through medical tourism. 

5. The cost of open-heart surgery and cardiac interventions is very high and unaffordable and prohibitive to many persons and families of children with heart diseases in Nigeria, as healthcare financing for these services remains largely out-of-pocket. The ongoing brain drain of medical personnel has further burdened the cardiac community in Nigeria. 

6. There is need to strengthen Public-Private partnership to sustain the giant strides in the areas of cardiovascular surgery and minimally invasive interventions in Nigeria. 

7. The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) needs to improve the scope of cardiac care. In particular, the scheme does not include cardiovascular care for children. 

8. The need for an NCS-driven heart foundation/endowment fund for cardiovascular healthcare to cushion the out-of-pocket healthcare financing in Nigeria.

9. The need for increased advocacy and collaboration for capacity building, research, and training in cardiovascular healthcare in Nigeria. 

10. The need to strengthen local manpower development and utilization of local resources was re-emphasized. 

11. There is need for cardiovascular research to be adequately sponsored in the country in order to formulate guidelines appropriate for Nigerian. Currently, there is a dearth of real-time nationwide data on the burden of cardiovascular diseases in children in Nigeria. 

RESOLUTIONS: 

Rising from its 50th AGSM, Eko 2021 (#[email protected]), the Nigerian Cardiac Society resolves as follows:

1. The Nigerian Cardiac Society shall continue its evidence-based advocacy as a major stakeholder in shaping the policy for cardiovascular health among adults and children in Nigeria, and the sub-Saharan African region. 

2. The Nigerian Cardiac Society calls for increased governmental and non-governmental funding for cardiovascular health, research, and training. 

3. The Nigerian Cardiac Society calls for improved cardiovascular public health enlightenment by all stakeholders on the scope of cardiovascular healthcare services available in Nigeria and the need to reduce, if not stop medical tourism. 

4. The Nigerian Cardiac Society wishes to thank His Excellency, the President Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Honourable Minister of Health for the integration of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) (hypertension and diabetes) into the primary health care programme. 

5. Nigerian Cardiac Society strongly advocates for the inclusion of specialised cardiovascular care and services for both adults and children in the National Health Insurance Scheme. This will help to lessen the financial burden on individuals and improve access to these services. 

6. Nigerian Cardiac Society appeals to all Nigerians to harness the power of digital health to improve awareness, prevention, and management of heart disease.

7. The 51st Annual General and Scientific Meeting of the Nigerian Cardiac Society will hold in the Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory in September 2022. 

APPRECIATION 

Nigerian Cardiac Society wishes to immensely appreciates the Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Hon. Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the Hon. Commissioner of Health, Lagos State, Professor Akin Abayomi, the Vice Chancellor University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was the Chairman of the opening ceremony. Special thanks also go to the Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Professor Chris Bode, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH, Professor Adetokunbo O. Fabamwo, and Dr Ademola Dada, Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Meta, Lagos. Special thanks to the Annual AsuquoAntia lecturer, Professor Fausto J. Pinto and the lecturer of the Fabian Udekwu Memorial lecture, Professor Martin Aghaji. Special appreciation to the Local Organising Committee of the 50th AGSM of the Nigerian Cardiac Society (Eko 2021). The Society specially thank Professor Jane Ajuluchukwu, chair scientific committee and Professor Amam Mbakwem, chair local organizing committee. 

Long Live the Nigerian Cardiac Society

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria