Rheumatic Heart Disease: Presentation and Management Dilemmas

  • Stephen Banda Department of Internal Medicine, Ndola Teaching Hospital/Copper Belt University, Ndola, Zambia.
  • Lucky Banda Department of Internal Medicine, Ndola Teaching Hospital/Copper Belt University, Ndola, Zambia.
  • Mercy Derera Department of Internal Medicine, Ndola Teaching Hospital/Copper Belt University, Ndola, Zambia.
  • Cynthia Banda Department of Internal Medicine, Ndola Teaching Hospital/Copper Belt University, Ndola, Zambia.
  • Evaristo Banda Department of Internal Medicine, Ndola Teaching Hospital/Copper Belt University, Ndola, Zambia.
  • Kennedy Gondwe Department of Internal Medicine, Kitwe Teaching Hospital/Copper Belt University, Kitwe, Zambia.
  • Samuel Phiri Arthur Davison Children’s Teaching Hospital/Copper Belt University, Ndola, Zambia.
  • Christopher Nyirenda Department of Internal Medicine, Ndola Teaching Hospital/Copper Belt University, Ndola, Zambia.
Keywords: Rheumatic Heart Disease, Diagnosis, Valvulopathy, Management, Resource Limitations.

Abstract

Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) is a major public health concern in developing countries. Late presentation and diagnosis, difficulties in accessing medications in remote areas, and loss of follow-up patients adequately may plausibly explain the suboptimal clinical outcomes. RHD is commonly encountered during childhood and young adulthood and is a major cause of disabilities and preventable deaths.

The objective of this case report is to highlight on the occurrence of RHD and some challenges to care of RHD cases presenting to health facilities in resource-limited settings. This may also serve to alert authorities and medical practitioners of the need to ensure the early and adequate diagnosis of RHD given the availability of resources appropriate for its management. Further, although early diagnosis is key, preventive measures need to be put in place, medications made available, and reliable patient follow-up teams established as a holistic package of care.

Published
2021-06-30