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World Heart Summit

Posted on Thursday, 12 May 2022 12:15

With just over a week to go, the World Heart Federation is looking forward to you joining them for the first ever live streamed edition of the World Heart Summit!


Thee Ministers of Health of Brazil, Jamaica and Oman will all be speaking at this year's Summit, where they will be joined by a diverse group of leaders and innovators from government, business, civil society and academia.


A special panel session featuring WHO Deputy Director-General Zsuzsanna Jakab, Jamaica Minister of Health and Wellness Christopher Tufton, PASCAR President Elijah Ogola and Health Minister of Oman Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al-Saidi, among others, will focus on heart health for development, shining a spotlight on Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.


The two-day programme will cover a wide range of topics and issues, exploring some of today's most pressing challenges in global cardiovascular health: from the impact of climate change on the heart, to charting global trends in cardiovascular conditions and risk factors, to how we communicate about heart health in times of crisis.


Visit WHF website to learn more about the Summit, meet the speakers, and explore the programme.

Click here to register



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8th SAMRC Scientific Merit Awards

Posted on Monday, 14 March 2022 17:19

Congratulations to Prof Ntobeko Ntusi, editor-in-chief of the SA Heart Journal for winning an award in Gold Medal Category which is for researchers who have made substantial and influential contributions that have impacted on health especially in the developing world, during the SAMRC 8th Scientific Merit Awards.

Follow the awardee profile video here.  

Professor Liesl Zühlke, a Paediatric Cardiologist and leader in cardiovascular medicine on the Continent has been appointed the

Posted on Wednesday, 1 December 2021 11:46

Read here a copy of the MRC announcement:



Dear Colleagues 

Professor Liesl Zühlke, a Paediatric Cardiologist and leader in cardiovascular medicine on the Continent has been appointed the SAMRC Vice President-Extramural Research & Internal Portfolio (VP-ERIP).

There are currently 26 extramural and 11 intramural research SAMRC units prioritising research into the 10 most common causes of morbidity and mortality and associated risk factors in South Africa. The VP-ERIP will be responsible for enhancing the quality of science and health impact of research that is funded by the SAMRC with an emphasis on cutting edge, basic and solution driven research.  The VP-ERIP will work with President and CEO, Professor Glenda Gray, and the Executive Management Committee (EMC), to formulate and implement research strategy and ensure integration of the research conducted and funded by the SAMRC in both its intramural and extramural research units.

Prof Zühlke joins the SAMRC from the University of Cape Town (UCT) where she was the Acting Deputy Dean of Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT, a Paediatric Cardiologist in the Department of Paediatric Cardiology at Red Cross Children’s Hospital and the Director of the Children’s Heart Disease Research Unit.  She will retain her UCT affiliation and her research endeavours as a member of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at UCT.

Her research spans congenital and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD), HIV in adolescents, Grown-up Congenital Heart Disease and Cardiac Disease in women of childbearing age. She is an NRF (C1-2016)-rated, with an H-Index of 42 with well over 26 000 citations, eight published book chapters, she has edited two books and published 147 articles, including in New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Circulation, JACC and European Heart Journal.

Prof Zühlke believes in excellence, engaged scholarship and research rooted in communities. “I envisage this Portfolio leading the way on our continent in ensuring health and wellbeing for all, with a research agenda rooted in the needs of our country, region and continent. The SAMRC research units are renowned for their contribution to the research landscape, the opportunity to shaping their direction as well as contributing to the mandate of the SAMRC is a unique one, and one I feel honoured to be a part of,” says Zühlke.

She has managed several large-scale RHD projects in South Africa and on the African continent. She was instrumental in the development, coordination, and management of the largest prospective RHD registry the Rheumatic Heart Disease Registry (the REMEDY study) involving 25 sites, in 12 African countries, Yemen and India.

Professor Glenda Gray, SAMRC President and CEO said: “I look forward to working with Prof Zühlke who will provide strategic leadership and make sure that the SAMRC fulfils its strategic goals and programmes in the Extramural Research and Internal Portfolio domain, this strategic appointment strengthens our focus on health impact and maintaining world class standards and a competitive position.”

“On behalf of the SAMRC Board, I welcome Prof Zühlke who joins at a critical point with the SAMRC now implementing a new Strategic Plan 2020/21 – 2024/25 and strengthening its role in supporting the Department of Health on Outcome 2 of the NSDA – A Long and Healthy Life for All South Africans,” said Professor Johnny Mahlangu SAMRC Board Chairperson.

Prof Zühlke has achieved the highest leadership positions within cardiology in South Africa; as President of the Paediatric Cardiac Society of South Africa (2012-2016), President of the South African Heart Association (2016-2018) and currently chair of both the Paediatric and Rheumatic Heart Disease Taskforces in the Pan-African Society of Cardiology. Internationally she is the President of Reach (Rheumatic Heart Disease, Evidence, Advocacy, Communication and Hope) since 2018. She is a board member of the World Heart Federation and NCDA- Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance, a member of the International scientific advisory board of Children's Heart Link and Global ARCH and an executive member of SAVAC (Strep A Vaccine Global Consortium).

She obtained a Master of Public Health degree in 2011 and PhD in 2016. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the outcomes of asymptomatic and symptomatic rheumatic heart disease. Her other degrees are related to her sub-specialist qualification in Paediatric Cardiology: DCH, FC Paeds, Cert Card (Paediatrics) FESC, and FACC. She also holds an MSc in Health Economics, Outcomes and Management of Cardiovascular Sciences (with merit) from the London School of Economics, obtained in 2018.

Kind regards

President and CEO of the South African Medical Research Council & Board Chairperson   


SA Heart AGM

Posted on Wednesday, 27 October 2021 20:43

The SA Heart AGM is taking place via Zoom on Friday 29 October 2021 at 18h00 during the SA Heart virtual congress: A Masterclass

World Heart Day - Know your risk, treat your numbers

Posted on Wednesday, 29 September 2021 13:22

To celebrate World Heart Day and equip members and patients, SA Heart® has partnered with LASSA and the Heart and Stroke Foundation in collaboration with GAFPA to raise awareness on LDL cholesterol and other risk factors of heart disease. Check out this informative website with downloadable resources for patients and clinical guidelines and make your patients aware of the factsheets and use the graphics in your social media posts to spread the word. 

Revived Pulse Foundation Cycle Tour to raise awareness during Heart Month

Posted on Friday, 17 September 2021 15:13

Revived Pulse Foundation created a special route for cyclists to complete a journey of 627 km split over 6 days to celebrate World Heart Day 2021 and to build brand awareness around their vision and mission. Starting on 24 September and ending on 29 September at the Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital on 29th.




Their visionis to provide heart products and services to as many people in need as possible. Their mission is to help patients in their effort to stay alive. They want to help them prolong their lives with their loved ones and let them know that there is life after heart problems.


For more info visit the website: www.revivedpulse.org

A very good luck to this brave team! 

Please support this Foundation’s mission & reason behind this great initiative – to save lives of patients who are in desperate need of cardiac devices


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ESC Highlights from the South African Heart Association - join us daily at 18h00

Posted on Friday, 27 August 2021 12:26

the South African Heart Association will be taking part in ESC Congress 2021 – The Digital Experience, from 27 to 30 August.

We look forward to welcoming you in the NEW ‘Our Global Community’ section where you will have the opportunity to network and discuss the latest ESC science, with experts from the South African Heart Association, in our local context. (Complimentary Open Access, see below)

Daily Highlights:

  • FRIDAY 27 AUGUST 2021:

Panel: Dr Blanche Cupido (Host and moderator), Dr Martin Mpe, Dr Adele Greyling

    •        Introduction and welcome – Dr BJ Cupido
    •        Dr Martin Mpe – Summary of: Chronic Heart Failure Late Breaking Trials section

o   VANISH Trial results

o   AVANTI: Dual VP-receptor Antagonism in Heart Failure

o   DAPA-HF Trial

    •        Dr Adele Greyling –Summary of: Late breaking Science – Arrhythmias and devices

o   Benefit of early rhythm control therapy in patients with asymptomatic AF – insights from EAST-AFNET 4

o   Two-year outcomes with Leadless Pacing: Micra CED results

    •        Dr Blanche Cupido – Video-pre-recorded summary of: SA Heart Joint Session: Update arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy and long QT syndrome

o   Clinical experience and genetic underpinning of arrhythmogenic CMO

o   Long QT syndrome – Peter Schwartz

o   Predicting risk for sudden cardiac death in gene carriers in arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy

    •        Discussion of interesting topics of the day



Panel: Dr Blanche Cupido (Host and moderator), Dr Jane Moses, Prof Andrew Sarkin, Prof Farrel Hellig

    •        Welcome – Dr BJ Cupido
    •        Summary of the previous day’s prime time sessions – Dr Blanche Cupido
    •        Dr Jane Moses – Summary of: Defying the odds of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation: dealing with the left atrium - Joint with the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) session:

o   Atrial fibrillation or atrial cardiomyopathy: screening patients for high risk of stroke.

o   Medical treatment in AF: patient selection – drug selection, anticoagulants and more.

o   Left atrial appendage occlusion for stroke prevention: which patient and when?

o   Defying the odds of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation: dealing with the left atrium        

    •        Prof Andrew Sarkin – Summary of : Important aspects of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes - Joint with the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) session:

o   How can we converge glucocentric and cardiocentric management of diabetes?

o    Hypoglycaemic events in patients with CVD: what are the causes and implications?

o   Optimal diabetic treatment in patients with type 2 diabetes at very high/high cardiovascular risk.

    •        Prof Farrel Hellig – Great Debate: controversies in left main revascularisation – to stent or to operate?

o   Pros and cons and discussion

    •        Discussion of interesting topics/issues of the day



 Panel: Dr Blanche Cupido (Host and moderator), Prof Mpiko Ntsekhe, Dr Nqoba Tsabedze, Dr Adie Horak


    •        Dr Nqoba Tsabedze - Summary of: Late breaking science in imaging session:

o   “EURECA” Use of Imaging in CCS

o   FAABULOUS  - 18F-Fluoride Assessment of Aortic Bioprosthesis Durability and Outcome

o   The PACIFIC-II study: Diagnostic Comparison of SPECT, PET and MRI in Patients with Prior CAD

    •        Prof Mpiko Ntsekhe –Summary of: Late breaking Science: Trial updates in ACS and PCI sessions:

o   TWILIGHT-HBR: Ticagrelor Monotherapy in High Bleeding Risk Patients

o   Antiplatelet therapy in high bleeding risk patients with and without oral anticoagulant therapy after coronary stenting

o   SYNTAX II trial: five year follow-up

    •        Dr Adie Horak

o   WHF  COVID-19 & CVD Global Study

    •        Discussion of interesting topics/issues of the day



Panel: Dr Blanche Cupido (Host and moderator), Prof Ashley Chin, Prof Eric Klug, Dr Helmuth Weich


    •        Welcome and Summary of the previous day’s prime time sessions – Dr Blanche Cupido


    •        Prof Eric Klug – Summary of: Meet the Experts: difficult decisions in advanced heart failure session

o   Advanced heart failure: mechanical circulatory support or transplantation?

o   When and how to transition to end of life care in advanced heart failure?

o   There are a few presentations /discussions in this session: Please provide a summary of how to treat and contextualise to SA setting

    •        Prof Ashley Chin – Summary of: Managing recurring ICD shocks for ventricular tachyarrhythmias session –

 o   Summary of how to treat and contextualise to SA setting

    •        Dr Helmuth Weich – Video / pre-recorded summary of: Nonobstructive coronary artery disease: why bother? Session

o   Nonobstructive coronary artery disease: underappreciated and misunderstood.

o   Nonobstructive coronary artery disease: vulnerable plaque is a volcano waiting to explode.

o   Nonobstructive coronary artery disease: diagnosis and treatment.


    •        Discussion of interesting topics/issues of the day  


       Welcome and Summary of the previous day’s prime time sessions – Dr Blanche Cupido


The South African Heart Association virtual stand:

  •        Connect with us to discuss your membership, education, certification, our upcoming congress, or just drop by for a chat!

Join us here

  •        Where to find us? Our Global Community: Open access

Click on the ‘Our Global Community’ tab in the navigation bar of the congress platform from Thursday 26 August.  Access is freely available – you just need to sign up here for complimentary restricted access. 

For full access to ESC Congress 2021 – The Digital Experience, be sure to register in advance to see the presentations as they happen!

Register to ESC Congress





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SA Heart® Statement on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccine

Posted on Saturday, 14 August 2021 14:03

SA Heart® (The South African Heart Association) noted the recent video and commentary by Dr Susan Vosloo proclaiming her personal anti-vaccination beliefs around COVID-19. Although Dr Vosloo is a well-respected cardiothoracic surgeon, her personal opinion is in direct contradiction to current evidence-based standard of care both locally and internationally.


SA Heart®, representing the opinion of cardiovascular practitioners in South Africa, recognizes and advocates for the use of vaccines in the prevention of severe COVID-19 infections. There is clear scientific evidence for the use of vaccinations to reduce the risk of both hospitalization and death in COVID-19 infections and with the benefit of vaccination far outweighing its risk.


There are currently two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines being used in the national vaccine programme in South Africa: the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is an mRNA vaccine that is given as two doses separated by 21 days. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is an adenovirus-vectored DNA vaccine given as a single dose. Both were evaluated in randomized controlled trials involving over 40,000 participants to evaluate efficacy and safety before being used in vaccine programmes. In these trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine resulted in a 95% reduction in COVID-19 infections. A similar reduction in cases of severe COVID-19 was observed. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine resulted in a 66% reduction in cases of moderate to severe-critical COVID-19 and an 85% reduction in severe-critical COVID-19. More recent epidemiologic studies have shown that with the spread of the delta variant of the virus the efficacy of vaccines is reduced, but the vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe COVID-19 that results in hospital admission and death.


Mild side effects are common with all SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and reflect the immune system being stimulated by the vaccine. Severe side effects have also been reported in a transparent manner during the trials and during programmatic use but are exceptionally rare. The overwhelming benefits of vaccination in terms of preventing death from COVID-19 far outweigh the risks of these rare severe side effects.


As a body, we therefore recommend the use of vaccination for COVID-19 and would encourage all citizens, especially those with comorbidities like heart disease, to register for vaccination.






Dr Blanche Cupido

President: SA Heart®

Last updated Saturday, 14 August 2021 14:13

The latest issue of the SA Heart Journal has been posted online

Posted on Friday, 6 August 2021 08:52

Please click here to access it.

There are no less than four editorials (Cardiology in times of uncertainty by Ntobeko Ntusi; The ten commandments for comprehensive heart failure management by Jens Hitzeroth & Ntobeko Ntusi; Revisiting the approach to patients with stable ischaemic symptoms by Anthony Dalby & Tips for young cardiologists or aspiring cardiologists by Oscar Jolobe)

Articles include:

Warfarin: time in therapeutic range, a single centre study on patients using warfarin for stroke prevention in non-valvular atrial fibrillation and prosthetic heart valves by D. Sadhabariss, S.L. Brown

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills profile and knowledge of nurses working in an academic hospital authored by M. Rikhotso, H. Perrie, J. Scribante, Z. Jooma

Variation in ascending thoracic aorta position - an analysis by computed tomography a paper by J.G. Koen, J.T. Janson

A descriptive study of inpatient admissions for cerebrovascular disease at a tertiary hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa from Y. Moodley, J.K. Adam

As always there is the popular ECG quiz and a section on Cardiac Imaging

Obituaries on late colleagues Lungile  Pepeta and  Solly Levin and  complete the issue.

SA Heart is launching its monthly National Journal Club on Thursday

Posted on Tuesday, 3 August 2021 08:06

SA Heart® is launching its monthly National Journal Club this Thursday, with the Johannesburg branch taking the lead in hosting this event. 

In future, the National Journal Club will be held on each first Wednesday of the month, and hosted in rotation by SA Heart® regional branches and Special Interest groups. The events are CPD accredited and free to attend for SA Heart® members. 

Join the SA Heart® Johannesburg Regional Branch who is hosting the inaugural SA Heart® National Journal Club

Thursday 5 August 2021 from 18h30 to 19h30 via Zoom


1) Welcome:  Ahmed Vachiat

2) COVID and thrombosis: Riaz Dawood, Pravin Manga

3) COVID and myocarditis: Ruchika Meel

4) Journal Review: Farouk Mamdoo https://nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2101897 in collaboration with cardiothoracic surgeon Kaveer Sohan

5) Q&A


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