“USE HEART FOR EVERY HEART”
GUEST ARTICLE BYZAMBIA HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION
Brenda Chitindi – Executive Secretary.
Today, 29 September 2022 is the World Heart Day with campaign message “USE HEART FOR EVERY HEART”. The Zambia Heart and Stroke Foundation is calling for urgent action on climate change and health inequity, with millions more lives now at risk from cardiovascular disease, which is still the world’s biggest killer.
Over 75% of premature deaths from Cardiovascular Disease occur in low- and middle-income countries including Zambia and half the world’s population has no access to essential health services.
Despite the shadow that the coronavirus pandemic continues to cast with the death toll approaching 6.5 million, Cardiovascular Disease remains the world’s largest killer, claiming three times as many lives every year.
2022 has seen historic heatwaves and, with climate change disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable populations, we can expect a further widening of the gap in global cardiovascular healthcare equity. Climate change and related air pollution is already responsible for 25% of all deaths from cardiovascular disease, globally killing 7 million people annually.
Millions of already vulnerable people are exposed to extreme weather events and limited access to healthcare. World leaders must step up efforts on the two biggest threats of our time: climate change and global health inequity.
Working hand in hand with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Zambia Heart and Stroke Foundation is calling on government, civil society, and global industry to meet net-zero targets, to tackle global warming and curb air pollution, and to deliver healthcare access for all.
Climate change is about people’s health, especially poor people’s health. We need to reduce emissions in the name of health, otherwise we will see more and more disasters and more suffering everywhere.
A new global survey by World Heart Federation highlights the global concern surrounding the link between climate change and cardiovascular disease, with climate change and air pollution ranked as the third most serious issue in relation to cardiovascular health.
The survey also revealed that awareness of healthcare inequity is growing including social inequality and access to healthcare. These survey insights, believed that government action can significantly reduce the burden of Cardiovascular Disease in their countries and underline the important role of policymakers.
The Zambia Heart and Stroke Foundation is urging healthcare providers to help improve cardiovascular health and to prevent Cardiovascular Disease mortality by issuing regular reminders risk groups about the dangers of extreme weather events, including tips on managing excessive heat events.
We know what works in prevention and in treatment of the world’s biggest killer. It is time for scaled up implementation and shared responsibility. Beating cardiovascular disease should matter to every beating heart.
Everyone is encouraged to get involved in World Heart Day and to maximise their heart health by learning more about resisting harmful coping mechanisms and bad habits induced by stress.
USE HEART FOR HEART HEALTH.