Treatment facilities for heart disease have been increased on a large scale in the country in the last few years as world-class cardiac treatment is now available in Bangladesh.
“There is specialised public hospital for heart diseases in the country and we have a plan to go for more specialisation after the Covid-19 pandemic situation,” secretary of the Health Services Division under the health and family welfare ministry Md Abdul Mannan told the Daily Sun.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 424-bed National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) is a state of the art institute for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in Bangladesh while cardiac units also exist in medical college hospitals, district hospitals and in 50-bed upazila health complexes across the country.
“World-class treatment facilities for heart diseases are now available in the country. We hope the NICVD will turn into a 1200-bed full-fledged specialised hospital for treatment of the heart diseases with latest technological support to be started within this year. It will be the south east Asia’s largest specialised cardiac hospital,” Prof Dr Mir Jamal Uddin, director of the NICVD, said.
However, the health experts suggested increasing treatment facilities for heart disease outside the capital so that people at grass roots level can avail themselves of the treatment services easily.
“The capacity of treatment of heart diseases will have to be increased outside the capital to ensure the health services for all. At the same time, enough skilled manpower, including cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, will have to be appointed to ensure proper and timely treatment for the cardiac patients,” Dr Prof Afzalur Rahman, former Director of the NICVD, told the Daily Sun.
He said cardiac treatment facilities have improved in Bangladesh and various types of treatment process and surgery like stenting and bypass surgery have become very easy and cost-effective here.
According to the NICVD, it has already successfully conducted bypass surgery without cutting chest bone and legs of the patient through MICS-CABG with EVH and the special procedure of cardiac surgery, which is called MICS-CABG, Minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Artery Bypass (MIDCAB) with Endoscopic Vein Harvesting (EVH).
The country’s heart treatment facilities also are available at the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute and some private hospitals.
Prof Afzalur Rahman, however, said there is no alternative to mass awareness to control the heart diseases as prevention is better than cure. “People have to maintain healthy lifestyle as they should avoid foods that cause heart disease and do physical exercise regularly to prevent the deadly disease.”
Talking to the Daily Sun, Dr Md. Habibur Rahman, Line Director of NCDC of the DGHS, said the government is taking preventive and curative measures to save people’s lives from the heart disease as the government has been carrying on awareness building programmes across the country.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) take the lives of 17.9 million people every year, 31 percent of all global deaths.
Triggering these diseases – which manifest primarily as heart attacks and strokes – are tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol, it added.
Experts said trans fat is one of the major causes for the increased risks of heart diseases, and Bangladesh ranks among the 15 countries with the highest burden of heart disease deaths due to trans fat.
In order to reduce risks of heart diseases in Bangladesh, PROGGA, a non-government organisation campaigning to make people aware about harmful effect of the trans fat in foods, urges the authorities to speedily enact and implement policies following WHO guidelines to limit trans fat to 2 percent of total fat in foods.
They said cardiovascular disease has become a cause of increasing concern for Bangladesh with patients suffering from it topping the list of people with non-communicable diseases.
This year, the World Heart Day will be observed across the world, including in Bangladesh, on September 29 and its theme for this year is “Use Heart to Beat Cardiovascular Diseases” as the Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of death globally.
The World Health Organisation in its Non-Communicable Diseases Country Profiles 2018 said that cardiovascular disease became the leading cause of death among the non-communicable diseases in Bangladesh as the cardiovascular disease alone kills 2.56 lakh people in Bangladesh accounting for 30 percent of deaths caused by non-communicable diseases.