By Arun Kumar, Washington, Oct 4 IANS | 1 year ago

An influential body of Indian American physicians and the American Heart Association (AHA) have joined hands to reduce the incidence of and deaths from heart attacks in India and the US.


The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and the American Heart Association have signed a letter of intent for laying the groundwork for collaboration in the two countries.

The collaborative venture is being undertaken in view of ever increasing need in reducing morbidity and mortality due to heart attacks and strokes, especially among Indians and Indian Americans, AAPI said.

AHA-AAPI leadership will be meeting in Dallas, Texas, Nov 17 to discuss details and develop an action plan.

AAPI-AHA collaboration will consider programmes introducing the AHA curriculum of resuscitation science in all Indian medical colleges and help develop training faculty in resuscitation, it said.

It will also consider working together to help community programmes in India and the US in enhancing the awareness of heart attacks and strokes.

"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," said AAPI president Jayesh Shah.

The AAPI-AHA Liaison Committee, chaired by Vemuri S. Murthy, will function closely with AHA in India and the US "helping realise the mission, especially in working towards building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke," Shah said.

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 sisease and stroke are not stopped by borders and neither are the efforts to stop them," said Murthy.

"A strong relationship between researchers and clinicians will allow the transfer of the latest knowledge into state-of-the art medical practice," he said.

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, Murthy said.

The team of panellists from the US 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 said.

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 medical colleges.

There are currently over 41,000 medical students in 345 medical colleges across India and Murthy readily admits this is a major challenge.

India, with more than 1.2 billion people, is estimated to account for 60 percent of heart disease patients worldwide.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

(Posted on 04-10-2013)