Described as the ‘Warm Heart Of Africa’, this relatively little known gem of this diverse continent has so much to offer; wildlife, culture, adventure, scenery, and of course the third largest lake in Africa. A year-round destination, some even go as far to describe Malawi as the most attractive and complete destination in Africa!
This may seem to be an extravagant claim for such a relatively small country but the truth lies in the unique combination of attractions that Malawi has to offer. Where else will you find such rich cultural interaction and such a genuinely warm welcome in a country at peace with itself? Where else can you experience such a diverse scenic kaleidoscope in such a small area? Here you have central Africa’s highest mountain, vast high plateau with seemingly limitless views, forests and unspoilt game parks and, the jewel in the crown, Africa’s third largest and most beautiful lake – truly an inland sea. With thrilling safaris now rivalling its neighbours thanks to the sustainable wildlife revolution brought about by Africa Parks, it’s easy to see why Malawi is now proving so popular.
But there's grim side to all the beauty. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the biggest cause of death globally and is projected to remain the leading cause of death. An estimated 17.5 million people died from CVD in 2005, which constitutes 30% of all global deaths. Around 80% of these deaths occurred in low-and middle-income countries.
Similar to most Sub-Saharan countries, there is a lack of proper statistical data on the patterns of CVD in Malawi, which is a densely populated country located in southeastern Africa. This is mainly due to the lack of the necessary expertise required to classify disease patterns and the lack of resources required to conduct large-scale formal national surveys. Although the epidemiology of communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, which now affects 10-15% of the population in Malawi, have been extensively studied, data on the epidemiology of non-communicable diseases, especially CVD, is not enough.
According to the latest WHO data published in 2018, Coronary Heart Disease deaths in Malawi reached 5,221 or 4.83% of total deaths.
The age adjusted Death Rate is 91.27 per 100,000 of population ranks Malawi #133 in the world.
Heart failure has emerged as a dominant form of cardiovascular disease in Africa, and has great social and economic relevance owing to its high prevalence, mortality and impact on young, economically active individuals. The causes of heart failure in Africans remain largely nonischemic. Hypertension, cardiomyopathy, rheumatic heart disease, chronic lung disease and pericardial disease are the main contributors to the etiology of cardiac failure in sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for over 90% of cases.
Hypertensive heart disease complications occur more frequently in Africans and the majority of affected patients are younger. Endemic cardiomyopathies include dilated cardiomyopathy, peripartum cardiomyopathy and endomyocardial fibrosis.
Nonendemic cardiomyopathies apparently occur with the same frequency as in other parts of the world, and include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy.
Emerged as a dominant form of cardiovascular disease in Africa, and has great social and economic relevance owing to its high prevalence, mortality and impact on young, economically active individuals. The causes of heart failure in Africans remain largely non-ischemic.
Coronary artery disease and its complications remain uncommon in Africa, but the situation is changing due to modifications in lifestyle, risk-prone behavior, diet, cultural attitudes and other consequences of rapid urbanization. As the prevalence of heart failure is expected to rise substantially in sub-Saharan Africa, the authors call for population-based studies and registries of the epidemiology of heart failure in Africans and the urgent study of interventions that will decrease morbidity and mortality from the causes of heart failure, with a focus both on nonischemic and ischemic risk factors.