oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Cardiac pacing in West Africa

Volume 33, Issue 12
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Cardiac pacing was begun in West Africa in 1976 and is at the moment done in only a few centres. Between June 1976 and December 1985,35 patients (22 males, 13 females) have received permanent pacemakers at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital. representing about 20 per cent of those who should have been paced. Strict criteria are used for patient selection and most of those paced had symptomatic A V block. There were 5 deaths, 3 being related to pulse generator (PG) failure. Three patients have had PO replacement while the fate of 5 is unknown. The West African patients are younger (mean age 55.8 yrs) than those from Europe and North America. Only those who could afford the full cost of treatment receive pacemakers. The long distance travelled to the hospitals for follow-up increases costs. Although about a third of the patients are illiterate, acceptance of pacemaker therapy is generally satisfactory

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