The Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera, yesterday, called upon Rwandans to accelerate prevention measures against heart diseases saying they are among the most avoidable illnesses.
Sezibera made these remarks during celebrations that were held at Petit Stade, Remera in commemoration of the World Heart Day (WHD).
According to the Minister, promotion of health begins with the heart and there are various measures to avoid heart diseases.
“We all can control the main risk factors such habits like smoking, chronic alcoholism and feeding on oily foods. Instead lets us stick to our Rwandan organic foods and do sports as often as possible to reduce the possibilities of suffering from heart diseases.
“Across the globe over 17.2 million people die each year from cardiovascular diseases most of which pass away without knowing the cause. We must therefore do whatever it takes to promote our health,” the Minister warned.
Dr. Joseph Mucumbitsi, a cardiologist with the Rwanda Heart Foundation also noted that the campaign to promote the fight against heart diseases has been extended to all institutions and organisations in a bid to remind everyone to go for annual heart check ups and determine their levels of cholesterol and blood sugar among others.
Hundreds converged at the stadium for free heart testing after which a “Walk for the Heart” was taken from Amahoro Stadium to Kacyiru round about and back.
This year’s theme “Work with heart” seeks to increase awareness among working people as officials note that most of those who die of these chronic diseases are in their productive years and may not take time off to consider heart health.
Sezibera assured that in 2010 particular measures will be instituted to acquire data on the prevalence of heart diseases in the country.
WHD was created to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading cause of death hence an urgent need to make small changes that together could make a big difference in favour of greater health and productivity.