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Heart of Africa Research Group

The Heart of Africa Group is a larger network of investigators researching cardiovascular conditions prevalent to the African continent. This group originated at the Soweto Cardiovascular Research Unit (University of Witwatersrand) and was expanded from the landmark “Heart of Soweto Study” which investigated the prevalence, presentation and management of cardiac disease in more than 8000 patients from Soweto, South Africa.

The Heart of Africa Group (based at the University of Cape Town) initiated several cohort studies investigating the impact of HIV/AIDS on cardiovascular disease, the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease diagnosed in adulthood and the spectrum of conditions leading to heart failure, amongst others, and paved the way for many other African cardiovascular disease studies. These multi-centre, multi-country studies are carried out in several African countries, including Mozambique, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, Kenya and Sudan. This group has also initiated and leads global trials, most recently the World Heart Federation COVID-19 & Cardiovascular Disease Study (> 25 countries, 5000 patients).

Group Members

  • Prof. Karen Sliwa-Hahnle (CHI, South Africa) | Group Lead
  • Dr Hadiza Saidu Bala (Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano, Nigeria)
  • Prof. Gad Cotter (Momentum Research, USA and Visiting Professor UCT, South Africa)
  • Prof. Albertino Damasceno (Eduardo Modlane University, Mozambique)
  • Dr Anastase Dzudie (Douala, Cameroon)
  • Prof. Kamilu Karaye ( Kano, Nigeria)
  • Prof. Gary Maartens (Head of Clinical Pharmacology, UCT)
  • Prof. Makoali Makotoko (University of the Free State – Universitas Hospital, South Africa)
  • Prof. Pindile Mntla (Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University)
  • Prof. Ana Mocumbi (Eduardo Modlane University, Mozambique)
  • Prof. Ntobeko Ntusi (Head of Medicine, UCT)
  • Prof. Mpiko Ntsekhe (Cardiology, UCT, South Africa)
  • Prof. Elija Ogola (Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Prof. Dike Ojji (Abuja, Nigeria)
  • Prof. Rampule Ratsela (University of Limpopo, South Africa)
  • Prof. Mahmoud Sani (Kano, Nigeria)
  • Prof. Simon Stewart (Melbourne, Australia and Visiting Professor UCT, South Africa)
  • Prof. Friedrich Thienemann (UCT and ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Dr K Thomas (Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital, Mthatha, South Africa)
  • Dr MB Thomas (Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital, Mthatha, South Africa)

Research projects

The World Heart Federation Global Study on COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Disease

This is an observational cohort study. Data collection of the first 3000 patients recruited from hospitals in low-, middle- and high-income countries has been completed.

Read article The World Heart Federation Global Study on COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Disease. Global Heart Journal (2021)

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