Reconditioned pacemakers for Africa
Pacemaker therapy is inaccessible to most patients with slow heart rate in Africa. Use of reconditioned pacemakers has been proposed as a safe, efficacious, and ethical means of delivering this therapy.
Pacemakers are highly effective for treating patients with slow heart rate, but these devices are prohibitively expensive for the health-care systems in many countries in Africa. A Comment article published in Nature Reviews Cardiology describes an innovative collaboration between the Pan-African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR), Pace4Life, and Project My Heart Your Heart, which is working to address this shortfall. Reconditioning pacemakers explanted from individuals in Europe and the USA supplies devices for cheap and safe reuse in Africa. Refurbished pacemakers provide substantially more benefit than harm, and their reuse is a pragmatic solution that brings us one step closer to universal access to essential quality health care, as outlined in the WHO’s Sustainable Development Goals.
By Gregory Lim, Nature Reviews Cardiology