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Addressing the shortage of research capacity in cardiovascular disease in Africa via leadership training
  1. Anastase Dzudie1,2,3,4,5,
  2. Karen Sliwa1,2,4,5,6
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Douala General Hospital and Buea Faculty of Medicine, Douala, Cameroon
  2. 2Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon
  3. 3Clinical Research Education, Networking and Consultancy, Douala, Cameroon
  4. 4Soweto Research Group, Department of Medicine and NIH Millennium Fogarty Chronic Disease Leadership Programme, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  5. 5Department of Medicine, Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  6. 6Mary McKillip Institute, ACU, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Karen Sliwa, Department of Medicine, Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7925, South Africa; karen.sliwa-hahnle{at}uct.ac.za

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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have rapidly emerged as a major cause of disease and deaths in Africa. Contrasting with the global picture of disease, CVDs affect and kill the generation of breadwinners in Africa,1–3 this in a region suffering from the most severe health workforce shortage globally. This situation may hamper the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the global road map to achieve a 25% reduction in CVD morbidity and mortality by the year 2025 (‘25×25’ goal) as suggested by WHO, training champions who will lead the agenda in Africa is crucial. These champions would act as catalyst to both optimise the implementation of existing policies and produce local research evidence to guide policy, practice and improve the performance of the health system.4 ,5 The World Heart Federation Emerging Leader (WHFEL) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) Fogarty Wits Non-communicable Disease Research Leadership Training Programmes, among others, are two key initiatives at the forefront of this challenge. These programmes support organisations like the Pan African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR) in their efforts to detect, select and train talents on the continent. These are proactive and systematic investments designed to build a pipeline of CVD leaders within the African continent. Understanding what it takes to have an effective CVD policy leadership would provide an appropriate response to cardiovascular epidemics in Africa, hence the need to visit early strategies and associated results.

Under the leadership of three investigators with expertise in different fields, the NIH Fogarty Wits Non-communicable Disease Research Leadership Training Programme …

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