GASABO - The First Lady, Mrs Jeannette Kagame, has called on members of the Rwanda Heart Foundation to work with other International health bodies in the campaign against heart disease especially among women.
Mrs Kagame was speaking yesterday during celebrations to mark the World Heart Disease Day at Amahoro National Stadium in Gasabo District.
Led by the First Lady, members of the newly established Rwanda Heart Foundation and other local and foreign officials celebrated the World Heart Day with a “Walk for the Heart” from Amahoro National Stadium to the Kacyiru roundabout and back to the Stadium.
In her speech, the First Lady said that the reason this year’s theme was: ‘Stop Heart disease in Women’, saying that in the world, and Rwanda in particular, women were the people worst affected by heart disease.
“Though research has not been carried out to dissect the number of people dying of heart diseases in Rwanda, it is clear that women top the number of those dying due to heart diseases,” she said.
She pointed out different causes of heart disease in women and advised them to always practise sports like walking, which is one way of curbing the disease.
Among the causes of heart disease in women Mrs Kagame mentioned was ‘change of hormones’ as this greatly affected many, especially the aged, and advised them to go for regular medical check ups.
“Many women rarely go for medical tests. They only go there when they are pregnant or sick. But it is important for a human being to always seek medical tests without waiting for signs or sickness,” she advised.
The First Lady also mentioned malnutrition in developing countries as another cause for heart disease. She advised those who are overweight to balance their weight by practising sports and having a balanced diet which will reduce chances of heart disease.
Cardiologist Dr Joseph Mucumbitsi, the chairman of RHF, thanked Mrs Kagame for her support in fighting and addressing the issue of heart disease amongst women.
Dr Mucumbitsi said that last year’s survey in Kigali City involving 960 patients exhibited lack of public awareness as the biggest obstacle to government efforts to fight heart diseases.
“This walk has a purpose. It essentially confirms that you can control the risks of heart attacks at their early stages through sports, since some of them are associated with daily human lifestyles,” he said.
The Minister of Health, Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, requested all doctors to first check their patients’ weight, blood circulation, weight and height, to avoid providing medicine different from patient’s capacity.
Ntawukuriryayo pointed out the rising mortality rates in Rwandan women and called for support of women to live a safe life because they are the foundation of development in all aspects.
Present at the function were Senate president Dr Vincent Biruta, Kigali City Vice mayor in charge of social affairs, Jeanne d’ Arc Gakuba, and other officials from local and international health organisations.
The walk was held with the support of the First Lady’s Office, Ministry of Health, the Senate, and the Rwanda Parliamentarian Network for Population Development, among others.