The international community, yesterday, marked the World Heart Day. The medical community, especially, joined the World Heart Federation (WHF), a nongovernmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland to draw attention to a prevalence of cardiovascular diseases that have become a serious health challenge. Heart Day is part of an international campaign to spread awareness about heart disease and stroke prevention. The World Heart Federation found that heart disease and strokes are the world’s leading cause of death.
Available record indicates that each year more than 17.3 million people die of cardiovascular disease and about 80 per cent of those deaths occur in the developing world – that’s more than victims of cancer, HIV and AIDS and malaria. This, indeed, is something to shout about. The World Heart Federation, by the principles it operates on, exists to prevent and control these diseases through awareness campaigns and actions, promoting the exchange of information, ideas and science among those involved in cardiovascular care, advocating for disease prevention and control by promoting healthy diets, physical activity and tobacco free living at an individual, community and policy maker level.
The promoters of Heart Day are convinced that aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity five times a week can help cut this risk, with brisk walking, jogging, swimming and cycling all great choices. Making everyday changes such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking instead of driving are also easy ways to get more active in a manner that will reduce stress on the heart.
The main aim of world heart day is to improve global heart health by encouraging people for lifestyle changes and gain knowledge about ways to be good to the heart. There is a target by World Health Organisation (WHO) to reduce non-communicable disease mortality rate by 2025 by reducing the premature deaths because of cardiovascular disease.
Overeating, unhealthy diets and high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels are all factors which can trigger heart disease and threaten our own lives, and those of loved ones. The foundation, by its philosophy, aim to improve health globally by encouraging people to make lifestyle changes and promoting education internationally about ways to be good to the heart. This lesson is becoming increasingly relevant as reports of obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity in children and young people become more and more common.
The events of the day motivate people to get participated and take some knowledge, go through the proper heart check-ups, and follow other control measures all through the life. It is a perfect day when many people do promises to themselves. To mark the day, charities and other organisations coordinate walks and runs, health checks, public talks, shows and exhibitions to name a few of the interesting and informative events.
The Federation is the world’s only global body dedicated to leading the fight against heart disease and stroke through a united community of almost 200 member organizations that bring together the strength of medical societies and heart foundations from more than 100 countries covering the regions of Asia-Pacific, Europe, East Mediterranean, the Americas and Africa.
It is committed to uniting its members and leads the global fight against heart disease and stroke, with a focus on low-and middle-income countries. To achieve its objective, the foundation, on a yearly basis, sponsors World Heart Day to raise awareness that cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death.
The International Society of Cardiology was founded in 1946. The International Cardiology Federation also came on stream in 1970. Both organizations were merged to form the International Society and Federation of Cardiology (ISFC) in 1978. Later the name of International Society and Federation of Cardiology was changed to the World Heart Federation in 1998.
In Nigeria, Cardiac Centres and other hospitals observed the day with special health talks, free electrocardiogram (ECG), chest X-ray, blood pressure, eye, blood sugar checks as well as free cardiology consultation.