World Heart Day
The heart, a small pump-like organ, carries blood pressure from our chest to every artery and cell from birth to death. Even if by some misfortunate accident our brain is dead the heart does not stop working, it just does not stop working if it is a healthy heart. The heart is really one of the most important organ of the entire human body. World Heart Day is an annual observance and celebration that is held on September 29th of each year. It is observed and celebrated with a message to increase public awareness of cardiovascular diseases, including their prevention and their global impact. In the year 1999 the World Heart Federation (WHF), in concurrence with the World Health Organization (WHO), announced the establishment of World Heart Day. The idea to establish this event as an annual event was invented by Mr. Antoni Bayés de Luna, also the president of WHF from 1997 to 99. World Heart Day was originally observed on the last Sunday in September until 2011, and the first celebration took place on September 24, 2000.
Heart Diseases and its Index plus Risks
Heart Disease is normally known as Cardiovascular disease or CVD, in short, takes the lives of 17.9 million people every year, 31% of all global deaths thus CVD is considered killer number one also. The factors that trigger heart disease primarily manifesting as heart attacks and strokes are tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and the harmful use of alcohol. These mentioned factors show up in people as high blood pressure, obesity, raised blood sugar levels, etc. The majority of these diseases can be prevented. In our country too, heart and vascular diseases are increasing at an alarming rate due to increasing urbanization and an unhealthy lifestyle. This can lead to serious problems in the future. Therefore, all the people, not just the stakeholders need to rethink all the daily activities performed and the food we consume. If a healthy lifestyle is not adopted with a healthy food style too, anyone can succumb to the deadly Heart disease. The main diseases of the heart are coronary heart disease, heart attack, hypertension along with stroke. Coronary heart disease and heart attack are becoming a big problem nowadays due to unhealthy diets, urban lifestyles, etc. In recent years, the number of heart attacks among young people around the age of 40 seems to have increased significantly. The main causes are very commonly known to all which is tobacco and its products use, unhealthy diet, no physical activity, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and mental stress to name a few.
Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death globally. During early 2000, around 17 million people died worldwide annually from cardiovascular diseases. The majority of deaths were the result of coronary heart disease or stroke. Although it is often considered cardiovascular diseases to be afflictions of people living in developed countries, where an inactive lifestyle is common. But, from recent studies, more than 80 percent of deaths from these diseases have been seen occurring in low- and middle-income developing countries too. This shows that the primary causes of cardiovascular diseases are poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking to be the main factor. Thus, CVD is there to kill even in developing countries, which often lack efficient health care programs. Heart disease can be serious and can kill people instantly. Keeping this fact in mind, World Heart Day is celebrated on September 29 every year since 2000 with various slogans under the leadership of the World Heart Organization to raise awareness about heart disease.
Observance and Celebration
Though World Heart day is still a new concept for Nepal and Nepalese events about heart problems, they do take place to promote healthy hearts. Health organizations, associations, etc organize charities, marathons, walkathons and health checks, public talks, and shows, to name a few of the interesting and informative events which mark the day. Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre is one of the Heart-related hospitals and heart centers, the programs normally start from there. Early in the morning hundreds and thousands of people gather including the Health Minister of State, Doctors, Nurses, and Paramedics along with the general public start a march with placards with public awareness and banners.
As Educational programs designed to engage the public is a major part of World Heart Day, organizations and Hospitals included in Heart net as Bir Hospital, Cardiac Society of Nepal, Friends of Open Heart, Heart Club Nepal, Help for Heart Surgery, Jayanti Memorial Trust, Manmohan Cardio Thoracic Vascular, and Transplant Center, Medicare National Hospital Medical Trust, Nepal Diabetes Society, Nepal Heart Foundation Lalitpur, Nepal Heart Foundation Kathmandu, Norvic International Hospital, Society for Healthy Heart, Nepal Hypertension Society, etc around 21-22 organizations including Dharmabhakta National Transplant Center participate in this grand event to make it a success.
Treatment of heart disease is expensive and complicated, but prevention measures are cheap, easy, and accessible. On the occasion of Heart Day this year, let us put our hand at our heart (chest) and make a resolution to eat healthy food, exercise regularly, not to use tobacco or its product, quit alcohol, stop smoking, and get involved in physical exercises, encourage children in sports and stop, discourage junk foods altogether. It is also important to have one’s cholesterol level, blood pressure, and heart checked on a regular basis to see if the heart is on the right track or not. So on Heart Day, let us get involved too, eat more fruit and vegetables, get outside, have a walk in the morning and evening, or whenever it feels convenient, and let both you and your heart shall feel the benefits.
If you are opting to celebrate this day, it is important to try and be more attentive to your own heart health. There are a number of different ways that you can do this. This includes following a healthy diet, quitting alcohol, stopping smoking, and getting involved in physical exercise. To Read this article in the Nepali Language please click here.