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Healthy workplaces promote good heart health

By Chioma Obinna & Oluchi Muogbo
HEALTHIER workplaces have been  identified as a major factor in the promotion of better heart health in Nigeria, Africa and the entire world at large. This was the message on this year’s World Heart Day, as stakeholders joined forces to call on governments, employers and workers around the world to make workplaces healthier.

Calling on the international community to pay more attention to heart-related diseases in Africa  President, African Heart Network, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye said reduction of incidences of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and hypertension in Africa was long overdue.

Engr. Adeyemi Wilson (left), Vice President, Nigeria Heart Foundation (NHF) , the President Africa Heart Network and Mrs Bola Ojo of the African Heart Network at the a briefing in Lagos on the 8th African Heart network conference and World Heart Day in Lagos.
Engr. Adeyemi Wilson (left), Vice President, Nigeria Heart Foundation (NHF) , the President Africa Heart Network and Mrs Bola Ojo of the African Heart Network at the a briefing in Lagos on the 8th African Heart network conference and World Heart Day in Lagos.

The forum with the theme, “Reducing Cardiovascular Disease in African Population” brought together experts to  address a wide spectrum of issues from scientific initiatives to public health strategies, from heart health in community, smoking to physical; activity, nutrition and from advocacy to health system.

They identified workplace wellness programmes that encourage healthy diets, physical activity and restrictions on tobacco use as a cost-effective way to save lives and improve productivity.”

WHF President, Prof.  Pekka Puska said at a time  governments and business leaders are devoting considerable energy and finance to improving  health of global financial systems, attention should also be directed to the health of the workforce.

He noted that hypertension and stroke are no longer a matter of age but more of lifestyle. Bola Ojo of the African Heart Network, said tackling heart disease at community level and creating awareness has yielded positive results in addressing significant and largely preventable disease. She said this year’s call was to ‘work with heart’ as most people spend over half their waking hours working.

Ojo said Africans are using the 8th conference to make a statement to the world that CVD is a silent killer in Africa and that the international world should look into it.

“Non communicable disease is killing 35 million people worldwide. This is a challenge in Africa. We want to make sure people hear the message. There is no point surviving AIDS and dying of CVD. We want  the international community to pay attention to the problem.”


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