World Heart Day launched

BY: Doreen Andoh

The National Cardiothoracic Centre (NCTC) has launched this year’s World Heart Day, with a call on the public to check their health statistics regularly to help prevent and manage heart diseases.

The basic health statistics include blood pressure (BP) and the level of cholesterol and sugar in the body, which are part of the major risk factors of heart diseases, now a major leading cause of death in the country and across the world.

Launch

At the launch of the day in Accra yesterday, the Director of the NCTC, Dr Lawrence Agyeman Sereboe, said everybody was vulnerable to heart diseases.

However, he said, 80 per cent of all deaths caused by heart-related conditions were preventable through the observance of healthy lifestyles.

He said it was unfortunate that heart-related diseases accounted for 60 per cent of all deaths caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.

He urged the public to adhere to basic health lifestyles to reduce the risk of contracting heart diseases.

Dr Sereboe defined healthy lifestyle as eating and drinking well, avoiding alcohol, shisha and tobacco and all forms of smoking, exercising regularly, avoiding sugary drinks and food containing too much cholesterol.

He said people’s lifestyles, particularly what they consumed, had a significant impact on BP, cholesterol and sugar levels.

The director, therefore, called for behavioural change in diet and physical activity to prevent diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and abnormal cholesterol levels which, he said, were the common cardiovascular diseases in the country.

Significance of event

In 1999, the World Heart Federation (WHF), in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO), established the World Heart Day as an annual event.

It aims to drive action in controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.

It is marked globally on September 29, every year as a platform to create awareness of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

The day, which will be commemorated in the country with a durbar, will be on the theme: “Use heart to connect”.

It will be organised in partnership with the Ghana Heart Foundation, the Ghana Health Service, the WHO and the WHF, with sponsorship from producers of Awake mineral water, the Cocoa Processing company, Frytol and the IT consortium, CHANGO.

In May 2012, world leaders committed themselves to reducing global mortality from NCDs by 25 per cent by 2025.

Cardiovascular disease is accountable for nearly half of all NCD deaths, making it the world’s number one killer.

Throwing more light on the theme, Dr Sereboe said: “‘Use heart to connect’ is about using acquired knowledge, compassion and influence to make sure everybody has the best chance to live heart-healthy lives.

“It’s about connecting with our own hearts, making sure we are fueling and nurturing them as best we can and using the power of digital to connect every heart, everywhere,” he added.