Unveiling Strategies to Combat Cardiovascular Disease in the Asia-Pacific Region

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The Asia-Pacific Cardiovascular Disease Alliance, for which ACCESS Health International is the Secretariat, recently completed a webinar, where the Alliance unveiled a report on addressing Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in the Asia-Pacific. The webinar drew a diverse audience of nearly 100 participants, including patients, healthcare professionals, academics, health policy experts, and policymakers.

For the opening of the webinar, Dr Krishna N Reddy, CEO, ACCESS Health International; Simeen Mirza, Associate Director, Strategic Consulting, ACCESS Health International; and Dr. Raja Ezman Raja Shariff from Universiti Teknologi MARA, emphasized the pressing need for cohesive CVD strategies across nations. Their insights focused on achieving three pivotal outcomes: reducing premature deaths, minimizing hospitalizations and re-hospitalizations, and stemming the growth of new CVD patients.

The keynote address by Dr Cherian Varghese, World Health Organization South-East Asia Coordinator (Noncommunicable Diseases and Determinants), underscored the WHO’s commitment to CVD control. He emphasized the critical role of sentinel surveillance and reliable data in designing effective interventions for the region.

Dr Amporn Benjaponpitak, Director-General, Department of Medical Services, Ministry of Public Health of Thailand, shed light on Thailand’s CVD control priorities, highlighting both challenges and opportunities within the health system.

A dynamic panel discussion featuring Neil Johnson, Jasper Tromp, Dr Raja Ezman, and Dr Suphot Srimahachota, moderated by Ed Harding, delved into key considerations. They advocated for a patient and citizen-centered approach in tackling CVD, challenging misconceptions about the disease’s age-specificity or its association solely with lifestyle.

The panel stressed the importance of policy to encourage sustainable innovations and investments in primary, tertiary, and secondary care for enduring change. Furthermore, they emphasized the critical role of data availability in assessing the CVD burden, designing interventions, and securing adequate financing.

This collaborative effort brought together experts from various fields, aligning perspectives and forging a path toward comprehensive and effective strategies to combat CVD in the Asia-Pacific.