Power up for Heart Awareness Month
The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) is powering up this September for Heart Awareness Month as we aim to reach the global goal of reducing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 25% by the year 2025.
Why a whole month for Heart Awareness?
Heart disease is the world’s number one killer, claiming nearly 17 million lives every year. Although the incidence of heart disease has steadily declined in high-income countries, the burden on middle and low-income countries has never been greater. In South Africa, the burden of heart disease and stroke follows HIV and AIDS.
In South Africa 1 in every 5 deaths are caused by heart diseases and strokes, totalling nearly 82 000 lives lost annually. Despite advances in medical care, contributing factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, a poor diet, lack of exercise and pollution are all on the rise. Tobacco use has decreased, but 37% of men and 7% of women in South Africa are still regular smokers, tripling their risk of heart disease.
Heart disease in South Africa is further exacerbated by inequality. While high blood pressure is common across socio-economic groups, awareness and appropriate treatment is much lower among people living in poverty. Making healthier choices to eat better, stop smoking or to get active are far less achievable to South Africans trapped in poverty.
Professor Pamela Naidoo, CEO of the HSFSA, urges all South Africans to have a Health Risk Assessment (which includes checking their blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol levels and weight) done free during Heart Awareness Month at all Dischem stores - That is your first challenge, accepted? Good.
Check your blood pressure once again after 1 week of using no salt at the table, less that a teaspoon of salt used daily when cooking, and no fast food during the week. Think you can do it? Good! We are keen for you to see the difference.
Share you power by taking a selfie of you getting your free health risk assessment, post it on social media and tag us @Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa on Facebook and Twitter - be sure to follow us on these platforms because there are incredible prizes being given away in September!