The African Heart Network is a coalition of heart foundations, cardiac societies and individuals working in the field of cardiovascular disease in Africa.
The AHN was founded in 2001 by African heart health professionals to provide a platform and a voice for civil society on CVD issues in Africa. We are part of the global CVD community through our membership of the World Heart Federation (WHF). We work towards the improvement of the health of Africans through better detection, treatment and prevention of CVD.
AHN is a registered non-profit company with its headquarters in Cape Town, South Africa.
Why we exist
The global burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to grow and is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide including in Africa.
Tackling CVD in Africa is a major challenge for development, as CVD results in significant health, social, financial and other consequences for those affected. Furthermore, CVD contributes to the social divide as it tends to affect predominantly poor and disadvantaged population subgroups.
Of the NCDs, CVD is the leading cause of disability and death, responsible for 17 million global deaths annually. Globally, deaths due to NCDs are expected to increase by 17% over the next ten years, with the greatest increase (27%) in the African region. The World Health Organization projects that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will overtake all other causes of death by 2030 in all regions of Africa. CVD - mainly ischemic heart disease and stroke- contribute the largest share of NCDs in Africa, largely due to the increasing prevalence of tobacco use, hypertension and diabetes. In addition, cardiomyopathy and rheumatic heart disease are also major concerns in the African region, requiring a diverse strategies to fight CVD on the African continent.
The African Heart Network’s vision is to play a leading role in the prevention and reduction of the burden related to cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, so that it will no longer be the major cause of premature death and disability throughout Africa.
Our mission is to:
Increase networking related to CVD prevention and control between African countries.
Advocate for increased awareness regarding the prevention and control of CVD in Africa and strategies to reduce it.
Spearhead policies and programmes to promote cardiovascular health in the whole population and among high risk individuals.
Promote heart healthy lifestyles throughout the life course in all individuals.
Disseminate and promote research findings related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and specifically CVD in Africa.
Advocate for increased access to health care for patients with CVD and those at risk of CVD.