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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 187-196

Anticoagulation in sub-saharan africa with the advent of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants

Department of Medicine, Departemnt of Pharmacology/Therapeutics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Raphael Chinedu Anakwue
Dedicated Anticoagulation Unit, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu Campus
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_12_20

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Background: Since the approval of warfarin, a Vitamin K antagonist anticoagulant (VKA), no other oral anticoagulant existed for patients who needed long-term anticoagulation therapy until the recent introduction of non-VKA oral anticoagulants (NOACs). NOACs came to fill in therapeutic gaps associated with VKA. Dedicated anticoagulation clinics has improved the outcome of using VKA. However, with the arrival of NOACs, it is not clear how they will fit into these clinics.Methods: We searched PubMed, Google Scholar, Medline, and African Journals OnLine for articles on anticoagulation management and NOACs. Results: There were very few dedicated anticoagulation management centers in Sub-Saharan Africa, notably in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Ghana, Botswana, Namibia, and Cameroun and warfarin was the anticoagulant used. NOACs were not used regularly. None of these anticoagulation clinics had incorporated NOACs management into their routine service as was done for VKA. Conclusion: Anticoagulation clinics in Sub-Saharan Africa must include NOACs as part of their area of service in addition to warfarin. The use of NOACs in Africa will leap frog if proper anticoagulation management policy and structure are laid out, the cost of NOACs are reduced, and emphasis is given to retraining of staff.

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