SPONSORED POST: To improve heart failure care in Nigeria, there must be greater cooperation between cardiologists and other healthcare professionals, as well as a more systematic coordination of heart healthcare within the health system, distinguished Consultant Cardiologist, Prof. Amam Mbakwem, has said.
Speaking at the 2018 Novartis International Cardiovascular Summit in Lagos which focused on Heart Failure management, Mbakwem, a Professor of Medicine and Consultant Cardiologist from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos/Lagos University Teaching Hospital (CMUL/LUTH) said there is a vital need for more inclusion of other healthcare professionals in the management of heart failure.
Mbakwem stated further that pharmacists, nurses, social workers and counselors should be proactively engaged by cardiologists to improve heart failure care in all hospitals and clinics in the country.
She added that with improved communication among clinicians, pharmacists and nurses, it would be easier to ensure medication reconciliation and manage the transitions between care-setting and documentation, while ensuring safety standards for all heart failure patients.
According to the renowned cardiologist, networking by health professionals will further help to improve the quality of life of heart failure patients, in addition to improving evidence-guided care, better access to care and utilization of specialty services in heart health management. She added that this will ultimately help to reduce the rate of hospital admissions and readmissions, length of hospital stays and emergency situations for heart failure patients.
Mbakwem further advocates to cardiologists to commence the involvement of General Practitioner physicians (GPs) in heart health management, noting that a paradigm shift in treatment is now imperative because the experts are not winning the war against heart failure.
She lamented that heart failure is now a significant economic burden on the health system, disclosing that in 2012, the overall worldwide cost of heart failure was 108 billion dollars. To reduce this huge burden, more should be done to ensure heart failure patients have access to specialised heart healthcare and according to her, networking by health professionals will help ensure this.