Seychelles celebrates World Heart Day


28-September-2012

The theme emphasises the need for people to adopt healthy behaviours such as regular physical activity, abstinence from smoking and healthy nutrition in order to prevent the cardiovascular diseases. A particular focus this year is on women and children considering that these groups of the population may face challenges to actually adopt certain healthy habits, for example with regard to women and physical activity in some societies or children and healthy diet.

To commemorate World Heart Day in Seychelles, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with other partners, is organising a series of activities to promote healthy lifestyles among the general public and particularly children. These include:

1. Minister’s message on the theme "Women, Children and Heart Disease” which will be broadcast on radio, TV and published in the newspaper.

2. Raising awareness among the general public through a variety of health education programmes in the mass media

• Four different spots promoting healthy lifestyle messages depicting the ‘super heart’ will be produced targeting mainly the children will be aired on TV for a period of two weeks in September-October 2012.

• Radio and TV programmes will be produced to raise awareness on the theme of WHD and, in particular, issues related to the various risk behaviours and the need for everyone to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

3 Preparation and sensitisation of the strategic framework for NCD prevention in Seychelles
A first draft of the strategies to prevent NCDs in Seychelles will be prepared for discussion during a one-day workshop on October 18, 2012 at the Sheikh Khalifa diagnostic center’s conference room at the Ministry of Health. The draft will be discussed with a group of around 30 different stakeholders which will involve members from various sectors, including Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Local Government, Media, NSC, Trade & Finance, representatives of the food industry, WHO and others. The draft will emphasise the need for the most cost effective (“best buys”) interventions to address the four main risk factors of NCDs including tobacco use, physical activity, healthy diet and alcohol consumption.

4  World Heart Day sport fun day for children aged 6-15 on Sunday September 30, 2012 at Grand Anse Praslin

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the National Sports Council (NSC) will be organising a one-day sports activity on Sunday September 30, 2012 from 11am to 3pm behind the Grand Anse Praslin Church playing field. The activity will be coordinated by the NSC and various school children from Praslin and La Digue and the general public will be mobilised to take part in this event. Activities will include entertainment by the school children of the Baie Ste Anne Praslin, followed by various fun activities including volley ball, football, obstacle race, three-legged race, traditional games and many others.


5  Sensitisation about the need to adopt healthy lifestyles through ‘super heart’ among school children

• Around 10,000 A4 size leaflets with the ‘Super Heart’ character will be produced and distributed to all schools of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.

• The leaflet will include various messages related to healthy lifestyles and will target primary and secondary school children.

• In addition, four drop down banners with healthy messages will be produced. The banners will be displayed during the sports day activity on Praslin and then will be displayed at the sport venue during all Fitness Seychelles activities.

• During the month of September, all schools will be sensitised to promote and organise various activities at the school level to promote heart health among students. These include talks, poems, one week physical education classes and others.

The activities will be financially supported by the World Health Organisation, Ministry of Health, National Sports Council and TIPCO.


Background

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), including heart disease and stroke, take lives prematurely. In fact, they cause 17.3 million deaths each year and the numbers are rising. By 2030, it is expected that 23 million people will die from CVDs annually – that is more than the population of Australia!

World Heart Day 2012 on 29 September 2012 is dedicated to raising awareness on various risk behaviours related to these diseases and taking steps in order to help prevent them. The theme for the day ‘Women, Children and Heart Disease’ is aimed at challenging women and children to adopt a healthy lifestyle and nutrition in order to promote heart health and become an advocate for heart-healthy living.

It is a myth that heart disease and stroke only affect older, male, rich populations. CVDs affect as many women as men however, their risk is seriously underestimated. In fact, heart disease is actually the number one killer of women, causing 1 in 3 female deaths: shockingly, that’s about one death per minute! It is vital that women learn the truth about their CVD risk and take action to protect themselves and their family!

Children are vulnerable too: the risk for CVDs begins before birth during foetal development, and increases further during childhood with exposure to unhealthy diets, lack of exercise and smoking.

Children might suffer a double burden from heart disease and stroke. They may have to face the emotional consequences of seeing a loved one becoming ill, but they are also at risk of the physical consequences of heart disease and stroke.

Modern society can expose children to risk factors such as diet with excess food intake and high in “bad” fats and sugar; activities such as computer games that discourage physical activity; and in some countries, tobacco advertising that encourages tobacco use or environments filled with secondhand tobacco smoke.

To mark World Heart Day, the World Heart Federation and its member societies throughout the world urge everyone to take action to save the lives of the women and children you love. Making even just a few changes can help to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke: encourage healthy eating and physical activity, and ban tobacco use.

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