Young Scientists

Scientist and entrepreneur - 7. Arthur Zang: the problem with heart diseases in Cameroon

In Cameroon, only 60 cardiologists, for 1.5 million potential patients.

"I am a Cameroonian scientist and engineer, based in Cameroon, trained in Cameroon.

I run a company in Cameroon called HIMORE Medical. It manufactures medical equipment. I founded it in 2013 when I noticed that there was a cardiologist deficit issue in my country.

I will present the different stages of this project. How the idea was born, what we went through, our different achievements and where we are now.

First, cardiovascular diseases cause about 17 million deaths worldwide each year. It is estimated that 85% of these deaths occur in developing countries. The two main factors of these diseases are high blood pressure and of course diabetes, which affect 20% and 9% of the population respectively.

One of the particular characteristics of Africa is that a large majority of the population lives in rural areas. For example, in Cameroon only 21% of the population lives in urban areas. The rest is in rural and peri-urban areas.

It is also estimated that one in three women in Africa is affected by a cardiovascular disease. In Cameroon, nearly 4,000 babies die each year from congenital heart disease, the deformities of the heart that occur when the baby is born. And in all, we have about 1.5 million people affected.

This situation is exacerbated by the fact that there are very few cardiologists in Cameroon. Currently we have about 60 cardiologists for more than 23 million inhabitants. And 85% of these 60 cardiologists work between the country's two main cities, Yaounde and Douala.

So it creates a lot of problems because people living in rural areas are forced to travel to the cities to get medical examinations, which increases their expenses, their time, but also the risks they run, because there are many traffic accidents."

 

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