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Healthcare: Measures to escape 80 percent heart-related diseases -Experts

A Woman Checking Her Blood Pressure

*The Nigerian Heart Foundation and other health professionals say the World Heart Foundation has urged an urgent action on climate change and health inequity, as millions more lives are at risk from cardiovascular diseases regarded as the ‘world’s biggest killer’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF) has highlighted practical measures on how 80 percent of premature deaths from heart diseases can be prevented  in the country.

The Foundation stated these heart diseases could be addressed, if tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol, and air pollution are controlled in the society.

Addressing a news conference on behalf of the NHF, in Lagos, Mrs. Dolapo Coker, member of the Nutrition Committee of the Foundation, stressed the need to address carbon emissions by the government in order to reduce cardiovascular diseases.

The press conference was to commemorate 2022 World Heart Day, agency report said.

Commemorating World Heart Day 2022

World Heart Day is marked annually September 29 to raise awareness about Cardiovascular Diseases, their management, as well as their toll on the society.

ConsumerConnect reports the theme of this year’s World Heart Day is: ‘Use Heart for Every Heart”.

The NHF outlined month-long activities to mark the 2022 World Heart Day, which includes bike a Heart Route (cycling rides), medical health talks and checks, walks, mini health exhibitions, distribution of fliers and iFitness exercise.

Mrs. Coker, a former President of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology, said that heart diseases remained the number one cause of death worldwide, claiming 18.6 million lives per year.

She said the World Heart Foundation was calling for an urgent action on climate change and health inequity.

Millions more lives are now at risk from cardiovascular disease, “which is still the world’s biggest killer.

“The year 2022 has seen historic heat waves and, with climate change disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable populations, we can expect a further widening of the gap in global cardiovascular healthcare equity,” stated Coker.

The expert further said: “Climate change and related air pollution is already responsible for 25% of all deaths from cardiovascular disease, killing 7 million people annually.”

Quoting Prof. Fausto Pinto, President of WHF, Coker as well said: “Millions of already vulnerable people are doubly exposed to extreme weather events and limited access to healthcare.

“World leaders must step up efforts on the two biggest threats of our time – climate change and global health inequity.”

According to her, while working hand in hand with the World Health Organisation, the WHF is calling on governments, civil society organisations, and global industry to meet net-zero targets, to tackle global warming and curb air pollution, and to deliver healthcare access for all.

She noted: “A new global survey by WHF highlights the global concern surrounding the link between climate change and cardiovascular disease with climate change and air pollution ranked as the third most serious issues in relation to cardiovascular health among the respondents.

“The survey also revealed that awareness of healthcare inequality is growing: in reply to a question about which global issues affected cardiovascular disease the most the second.”

Coker said: “The second most common answer was social inequality and access to healthcare.

“WHF is also urging healthcare providers to help improve cardiovascular health and prevent CVD mortality by issuing regular reminders to at-risk groups about the dangers of extreme weather events, including tips on managing excessive heat events.”

The NHF top official stated that all partners are in the fight against heart diseases and the promotion of healthy lifestyles in Nigeria.

In his goodwill message on the occasion, Mr. Foluso Ogunwale, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of I Fitness, described the heart as the most important organ in the body

Ogunwale decried prevalence of harmful lifestyles and physical inactivity among several  Nigerian consumers.

He said: “If the heart is that much important, it means that at one point we need to match the brake and examine how we live our lives, so that we can perhaps live a happy and healthier life.

“The issue of physical health, physical exercise and the issue of nutrition and harmful lifestyles that potentially cause heart diseases can be addressed.”

Quest Oil Group, another NHF’s partner, said that the issue of heart health was a concern to the firm; hence, the commitment to addressing carbon emissions to reduce heart risks in Nigeria.

Speaking at the conference, Mr. Gerald Moore, Corporate Communications and Branding Manager of Quest Oil Group, said: “For us at Quest Oil, we believe that good health is good business, and that is why we innovatively changed the energy mix that we provide our customers.

Moore also stated: “We now have different systems that can change from fuel to gas.

“We have gas as our transition fuel. We also provide LPG which is cleaner fuel.

“We also started something innovative in our stations, which is to replace the existing fuel generators with the solar power system.

“We believe that will significantly reduce the carbon emissions and give out stakeholders the opportunity for a better health.”

How to build heathy population, by Governor’s wife

In her remarks, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, wife of Lagos State Governor, said it was extremely important that people desist from unhealthy lifestyles to build heathy population which, in turn, would enhance productivity in the state.

Mrs. Sanwo-Olu, represented at the forum by Mrs. Patience Ogunnubi, Member, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials, said that the increase in the statistics of cardiovascular diseases called for a comprehensive approach and strategy.

She also noted: “This is to ensure that people are aware of the serious threat that the disease posed.”

The governor’s wife also urged Nigerian consumers to embrace deliberate lifestyles and choices that could help to address the trend in Nigeria.

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