This year on World Heart Day, people around the world will be encouraged to make a personal commitment to improving their heart health, and Netcare hospitals and emergency departments around South Africa are getting behind the initiative in order to help convey this important message to the public.
“Heart disease, which can often be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet, is a leading natural cause of death in South Africa, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa [HSFSA]. This underscores the importance of us all prioritising our cardiovascular health,” says Dr Biancha Mentoor, clinical improvement lead at Netcare.
“Netcare hospitals and emergency departments will be using the opportunity of World Heart Day on 29 September, which is the culmination of our National Heart Awareness Month, to help raise awareness amongst South Africans on the causes and possible ways of preventing the development of cardiovascular disease.
“Some of our facilities will be hosting special educational World Heart Day events and talks, while others will be using information leaflets and posters developed by the World Heart Federation [WHF], which globally organises World Heart Day, to get people thinking about and committed to their heart health,” adds Dr Mentoor.
Dr Mentoor says that the theme of this year’s World Heart Day is “My Heart, Your Heart”, which simply aims to motivate people from around the globe to make a personal promise to adopt the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes to keep their cardiovascular systems in good health. The HSFSA has, meanwhile, localised the theme of the day to: “My Heart, Your Heart and the Hearts of all South Africans”.
One of the WHF’s posters sums up the aim of their 2018 World Heart Day campaign succinctly: “On World Heart Day, we’re asking you to make a promise. A promise to eat more healthily, to get more active, to say no to smoking. A simple promise… for my heart, for your heart, for all of our hearts.”
Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s general manager: emergency, trauma, transplant and CSI, points out that, patients who suffer heart attacks, heart failure or stroke require urgent emergency treatment, therefore emergency departments are often their first port of call. A number of Netcare emergency departments are consequently getting strongly involved in World Heart Day this year and will be looking to educate the public about cardiovascular disease.
“Many people are unaware of the fact that they have, or are developing, cardiovascular disease, as risk factors such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other conditions such as high cholesterol that pose a risk to the heart often develop without clear symptoms. The first sign that someone has developed a cardiovascular disease is therefore tragically often when they suffer a heart attack or stroke.”
“Although the risk of developing cardiovascular disease can often be substantially reduced through the adoption of a more active lifestyle and a heart healthy diet in many cases, we should nevertheless also have our risks for developing cardiovascular disease regularly monitored by having, for example, regular cholesterol and blood pressure screenings. When a cardiac condition is detected early, timeous and effective treatment and management can make a world of difference to protecting the health of the person involved,” says Toubkin.
“This is the message that Netcare hospitals and their emergency departments will be taking to the public this World Heart Day, and we are calling on all South Africans to make a personal commitment to protecting their cardiovascular health,” concludes Toubkin.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, and Meggan Saville
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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