(Cape Town) – A prestigious global heart federation has elected a Cape Town professor as its president-elect, marking two firsts: its first female president and its first president from Africa.
The World Heart Federation has elected Professor Karen Sliwa of the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, at the University of Cape Town as president-elect.
“This marks two firsts: our first female president and our first from the African continent. She will bring to the role of president a wealth of first-hand experience and expertise, with specific understanding of the challenges of addressing CVD in lower resource settings. We are delighted to welcome her on board,” said Johanna Ralston, CEO of the World Heart Federation.
Sliwa is a clinician-scientist, having trained as an internal medicine specialist and cardiologist. She also holds a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene and a PhD related to immune activation in heart failure, and has played a key role in promoting research and contributing to knowledge in diseases common in Africa.
Born in Germany, Sliwa spent her childhood in Asia and underwent training in countries as diverse as India, the Philippines, Israel and Scotland, prior to settling in South Africa.
“I am honoured at the trust the World Heart Federation membership has put in me to take the organisation forward. I would like to especially thank the emerging country societies and foundations who have supported me,” Sliwa said.
About the World Heart Federation:
The World Heart Federation is dedicated to leading the global fight against cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke. With a focus on low- and middle-income countries, we are the only global advocacy and leadership organization bringing together the CVD community to help people lead heart-healthy lives.