The programme aims to accompany medical facilities to manage heart failure patients comprehensively and bring them the best quality of life.
The number of people diagnosed with heart failure is increasing drastically. An estimated 64.3 million people are living with heart failure worldwide and this number is still growing. In developed countries, one in five people will develop this disease. Vietnam has not had official statistics about the number of heart failure patients. Yet, estimated that 320,000 to 1.6 million people living with this disease need treatment.
Although there have been many advances in the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure, the consequences are not as positive as expected. It is undeniable that heart failure patients tend to be regularly hospitalised for acute decompensated heart failure, and about 4-7 per cent of them died during hospitalisation. In addition, the mortality rates of 30-day and one-year after discharging from the hospital are about 10 and 20 per cent, respectively. Moreover, the rate is nearly 50 per cent five years after discharge, higher than the mortality rate of some common cancers.
|Novartis collaborated with Ho Chi Minh City University Medical Center to implement the online Medical Training Program for nursing staff on heart failure management |
The severity of heart failure is assessed on an NYHA scale (New York Heart Association). There are four NYHA levels (NYHA I, II, III, IV) from light to severe. Through NYHA levels, doctors can assess patients’ ability to exertion and perform daily work, which is associated with their quality of life.
Also, many studies show that heart failure reduces the patients’ quality of life no less than other chronic conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes mellitus, stroke, or dementia. Those are the results of fatigue, shortness of breath, and limited physical exertion, among others or the acute decompensated heart failure, co-cardiac diseases, and ultimately lead to the disability of the person.
The goals of heart failure treatment comprise improving symptoms, enhancing the quality of life, declining repeated hospitalisations, and reducing mortality. To achieve these goals, it is compulsory to have the supports of both doctors and nurses, the coordination of relevant specialties, and the collaboration of patients and families in monitoring at home. Above all, close connection between physicians and patients is the most necessary element to manage heart failure in the most optimal and comprehensive manner.
Recognising the incredibly significant role of nursing in the Heart Failure Management Programme and the need for training and standardising knowledge for this team, Novartis has coordinated with several hospitals and specialised associations to carry out on-site training activities and organise many courses for them. That helped nurses to improve their knowledge, skills of consulting, and the ability to monitor patients.
Novartis cooperated with the University Medical Centre Ho Chi Minh City to implement online medical training for nursing staff of cardiovascular medicines in May. This is the basic training to provide the core knowledge so that nurses can confidently practice clinical counselling and help manage heart failure patients effectively. There were two sessions with the attendance of over 1,400 doctors and nurses nationwide. It reveals the interest of health staff in the Heart Failure Management Programme and the need to in depth-study nursing at both general and specialised hospitals nationwide.
|This online Medical Training Programme provides the core knowledge for nurses to confidently practice clinical counselling |
Novartis launched the Heart Failure Management Program in 2018. In particular, field observation programmes from other countries in the region were implemented to learn their Heart Failure Management models and offer trainings to the core teams of the programme in local hospitals. Among those, there are many dedicated training programs used for raising the level of Vietnamese nursing staff and help them to keep pace with others in the region in taking care of heart failure patients.
In early 2020, Novartis has officially established a dedicated project team to promote the implementation of the Heart Failure Management model in many hospitals such as Hanoi Heart Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City Heart Institute, University Medical Center Ho Chi Minh City, Gia Dinh People's Hospital, District 2 Hospital (Le Van Thinh Hospital currently), Hue University Of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital, An Giang Cardiovascular Hospital, Dong Nai General Hospital etc. Until now, there are nearly 20 hospitals nationwide piloting the program to optimise treatment for heart failure patients.
Rachel O'neale, head of Country Pharma Organisation, Novartis Vietnam said: "As the number of heart failure patients is increasing dramatically, we expect the Heart Failure Management programme will become a solution reducing the heavy burden of the health system. This programme will update the latest information and innovative treatment that health staff can apply to clinical research practice to improve treatment results as well as meet the needs of patients.”
This programme is expected to be implemented throughout provinces, which helps heart failure patients access standard treatment and comprehensive management.