NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29- With the rising cases of lifestyle diseases in the country, experts now say that one out of four Kenyans suffers from a cardiovascular disease without their knowledge.
Cardiologist Dr. Fred Bukachi who doubles up as the Director of Heart Center at the University of Nairobi, revealed that many Kenyans die of cardiac problems due to late diagnosis and lack of enough cardiogram machines in the country.
“We recognize that in this country, we have a major rise in heart diseases. From 2015 to 2020, one in every four Kenyans has elevated blood pressure and completely unaware of it. What this does is that it causes major complications such as kidney failure, heart failure, strokes among many other problems,” Dr. Bukachi said.
Dr. Ephantus Maree from the Ministry of Health pointed out that cardiovascular diseases are the second leading cause of mortality in Kenya after communicable ailments, adding that the Ministry is prioritizing heart health to save more lives.
“These are diseases of great economic importance and we need to invest as a country and put a lot of effort to ensure that we address cardiovascular diseases. It is estimated that by 2030, the economic burden caused by cardiovascular diseases in this country will be 3 trillion Kenyan Shillings,” Dr. Maree said.
They spoke during the donation of 30 Echo Life Cardiogram Machines by Novartis, a Pharmaceutical Company, which will be disbursed to counties highly affected with heart diseases.
The company has partnered with the University of Nairobi Enterprise and Services and the Heart Center to provide Health Solutions to the National and County Governments.
The machines were received by Nyeri County Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu on behalf of the Council of Governors.
“Our county Health Departments will make the best use of these Echo Life Machines to ensure that we save lives even in the rural areas where access to cardiac facilities is really a challenge. We will support these kinds of private-public partnerships because health issue is an all-rounded need that requires combined efforts,” she said.
Counties set to benefit from the modern and portable cardiogram include Isiolo, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Nyeri and Kitui County among others.