AAPI-AHA collaborate to reduce heart attacks and strokes

American Heart Association Basic Life Support & Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Courses, being sponsored by Resurrection Healthcare Training Center, Chicago, IL
American Heart Association Basic Life Support & Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Courses, being sponsored by Resurrection Healthcare Training Center, Chicago, IL

CHICAGO, IL: With the ever increasing need for reducing morbidity and mortality due to heart attacks and strokes, especially among Indians and Indian Americans, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and the American Heart Association are laying the groundwork in India and USA.

The AAPI-AHA Liaison Committee, chaired by Vemuri S. Murthy, MD, a veteran AHA International Volunteer and National Faculty, has announced that a Letter of Intent (LOI) between the two organizations has been signed. “AAPI-AHA collaboration will consider programs such as: 1) introducing the AHA curriculum of resuscitation science in all Indian Medical Colleges; 2) working together to help community programs in India and USA enhancing the awareness of heart attacks and strokes and 3) help develop Training Faculty in Resuscitation.

Dr Jayesh Shah, President of AAPI, thanked Dr Vemuri Murthy and the AAPI-AHA Liaison Committee for this landmark Letter of Intent (LOI). AHA-AAPI leadership will be meeting on November 17 in Dallas, TX to discuss details and develop an action plan.

“As we are nearing the 8th Global Health Summit in Ahmedabad, India, the signing of the LOI could not have come at a more opportune time. The committee chaired by Dr Murthy will function closely with AHA in India and USA helping realize the mission, especially in working towards building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” Dr Shah hopes. “With participation of US physicians of Indian origin and their counterparts in India, the American Heart Association and AAPI conferences are expected to strengthen the ongoing collaboration.”

“Heart disease and stroke are not stopped by borders and neither are the efforts to stop them,” says Dr Murthy. “A strong relationship between researchers and clinicians will allow the transfer of the latest knowledge into state-of-the art medical practice.

American Heart Association is the global leader in medical research and practice. The recent advances in resuscitation science such as hypothermia in cardiac arrest continue to make significant impact on the quality of human lives”.

“The workshop on Resuscitation, involving hundreds of Indian healthcare leaders and providers, is designed to address the global crisis of increasing morbidity and mortality due to heart attacks and strokes. The team of panelists from USA and India will discuss the recent evidence-based advances in resuscitation science to enhance the quality of global health, with specific focus on India,” he adds.

The aim of this collaboration is to work closely with Indian physicians to address the lack of adequate training of Emergency Room Physicians and to provide a uniform curriculum for Emergency Care Education in the Medical Colleges. There are currently 41,000+ medical students in 345 medical colleges throughout India and Dr. Murthy readily admits this is a major challenge.
Dr Ranga Reddy, Vice- Chair of the Committee, says, “We will encourage the curriculum of Resuscitation Science (Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support) in all Indian medical colleges using AHA teaching material. We have to work with various medical universities and the Medical Council of India”.

Dr Ravi Jahagirdar, President-elect of AAPI, referred to a recent study by the Registrar General of India (RGI) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), stating that heart disease has emerged as the number one killer among Indians. About 25 per cent of deaths in the age group of 25- 69 years occur because of heart diseases. If all age groups are included, heart diseases account for about 19 per cent of all deaths. It is the leading cause of death among males as well as females and in all regions of India, the study found.

India, with more than 1.2 billion people, is estimated to account for 60 percent of heart disease patients worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, heart related disorders will kill almost 20 million people by 2015, and they are exceptionally prevalent in the Indian sub-continent.

Half of all heart attacks in this population occur under the age of 50 years and 25 percent under the age of 40. It is estimated that India will have over 1.6 million strokes per year by 2015, resulting in disabilities in one third of the cases. The need is urgent.

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest, largest voluntary organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Founded in 1924, AHA now has millions of volunteers and supporters working tirelessly to eliminate these diseases. AHA funds innovative research, fights for stronger public health policies and provides lifesaving tools and information to save and improve lives.

While serving as an umbrella organization for more than 130 member associations nationwide, AAPI was formed to coordinate the efforts of the physicians of Indian origin, currently working in the United States. Headquartered in Chicago, AAPI has come to be recognized as a strong voice in the healthcare legislation and policy arena.

India Post News Service