Dar es Salaam. Tanzania will mark the World Heart Day (WHD) for the first time in history, in order to raise awareness on the disease.
The Tanzania Cardiac Society (TCS) launched the campaign on Friday, September 14, under the theme “My Heart, Your Hear”, noting that it will be celebrated for two weeks until September 29.
TCS President, Dr Robert Mvungi, said the celebrations will create awareness and a sense of commitment on heart diseases.
“We focus to educate, inspire and motivate people to keep their hearts healthy and encourage them to share, hear, be informed and motivated for change,” he said.
According to him, WHD will be part of international campaigns aimed at creating and spreading awareness on cardiac diseases and strokes, noting that the two constituted half of all Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs) ranked the world’s number one killer.
“At least 17.7 million people die every year from cardiac diseases, accounting for 31 per cent of all global deaths. Majority of them come from low-income and middle income countries,” he said.
He said in Tanzania, cardiac diseases were the major cause of morbidity and mortality in spite of the fact that about 80 per cent of premature heart-related deaths could be prevented.
Furthermore, Dr Mvungi said unhealthy diet including excessive use of tobacco and alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, poorly or untreated diabetes as well as abnormal cholesterol were among factors leading to severe heart diseases.
“If people changed their lifestyles, it would reduce the heart diseases burden because at least 20 per cent of the disease occurs during birth, while the remaining 80 per cent is caused by people’s lifestyles,’ he said.