An inaugural meeting of RIC Africa Principal Investigators was held on May 6th at the Cape Heart Centre, University of Cape Town, South Africa. This provided an excellent opportunity for site investigators from participating countries to meet, share experiences of recruiting to the study, and discuss challenges and areas for improvement as we move ahead. The meeting provided an informative and interactive forum, fostering great discussion and camaraderie. We aim to make this an annual event for the duration of the RIC Africa trial.
Acute myocardial infarction and heart failure that follows are among leading causes of death and disability in sub-Saharan Africa. In these low-and middle-income countries (LMIC) availability and access to modern, expensive infrastructure and interventions such as PPCI are limited and unlikely to change in the near future. As a result, of the STEMI patients who receive reperfusion, the majority are treated by thrombolysis and are more likely to develop heart failure and death post-STEMI, highlighting the higher-risk patient population. As a result, there remains an urgent unmet need to discover novel therapeutic interventions to improve clinical outcomes and prevent the onset of heart failure following STEMI in LMICs. The RIC-AFRICA trial was established to investigate whether remote ischaemic conditioning (RIC) can improve clinical outcomes in these higher-risk STEMI patients in sub-Saharan Africa treated by thrombolysis.
The RIC-AFRICA trial began a small pilot for recruitment in January 2022 to assess feasibility of undertaking this study in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and is now actively recruiting in 17 hospital sites across 4 countries: South Africa, Sudan, Kenya and Uganda. Sadly, our Sudanese colleagues were unable to attend the meeting and we wish them all a peaceful outcome of the current troubles happening there. Many thanks to all of our investigators and their clinical teams, we are so grateful for your participation.