Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Clin Exp Cardiolog
Statement of the Problem: Patterns and prevalence of heart diseases are different between the high income countries and low income countries. Acquired heart diseases like RHD, cardiomyopathies, pericarditis are still a public health burden while congenital heart diseases still carry a poor outcome among children. The aim of this study was to report the burden and patterns of heart diseases in a semi urban referral hospital in Uganda. Methodology: This was a prospective study in the paediatrics department at a regional referral hospital in Uganda over a period of 20 months. All children from birth up to 12 years who were referred or presented at paediatric department from different areas in the region for an index cardiac evaluation had their transthoracic echocardiography done were included in the study. These children were enrolled and followed up in the cardiology clinic for chronic care. Those who did not turn up for their expected reviews were followed up with phone calls to find out their outcome. Findings: 240 children were screened during period and 65.8% had abnormal echocardiological findings. Females had more abnormal echos at 51.9% than males. VSD were the commonest acyanotic heart disease followed by PDA at 37% and 17% respectively. TOF was highest at 11% followed by truncus arteriosus at 5.9%. Mean age at diagnosis of congenital heart disease was 28 months (SD 33). RHD was the commonest at 72.5% of the acquired heart diseases. 63% of children needed and were referred to the national cardiac center. Only 52% managed to go to the cardiac center and only 4.4% got surgical intervention. 25% of the children died while 12.7% were lost to follow up. Conclusion & Significance: There is a high burden of heart diseases in our setting with limited access to interventional services.