World Heart Day | 29 September 2020
‘Use heart to beat cardiovascular disease’
Today is World Heart Day and on this occasion the secretary of state for Health, Ambassador Marie-Pierre Lloyd, has sent a message urging everyone to adopt healthy behaviours, thereby adding years to life and life to years.
The theme for this year’s World Heart Day is ‘Use heart to beat cardiovascular disease’.
The full text of Ambassador Lloyd’s message reads:
“Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), particularly heart attack and stroke, are the leading causes of death in the world,
killing 17.9 million people every year. It is also the leading cause of mortality in Seychelles, amounting to an average of 254 deaths, per year from 2015-2019.
“CVD, including hypertension, diabetes and obesity, often arise from unhealthy behaviour, particularly cigarette smoking, excess alcohol intake, unhealthy diet, and lack of physical activity. In contrast, persons who do not smoke, have regular physical activity and have a healthy diet have only a very low risk to suffer from
heart attacks, stroke and a much lower risk to developing diabetes and hypertension. Importantly, these main healthy behaviours contribute largely in preventing different cancers, lung disease, kidney disease and promoting
“World Heart Day this year is aimed at encouraging the public and policy makers to be more aware of the importance of health-promoting environments that are conducive to healthy lifestyle and diet to prevent cardiovascular disease.
“In Seychelles, several measures have been in place over the years to promote healthy environments. They include banning smoking in all enclosed public and in many outdoor premises, prohibiting tobacco advertising, banning the sale
of packaged soft drinks and fruit juices in schools, making water fountains available in all schools and introducing a tax on all sugar-sweetened beverages and removing VAT on some healthy essential foods such as selected fruit and
“The measures taken have contributed towards tackling overweight issues as well as decreasing smoking prevalence in the country.
“However, we need to implement further measures in multiple sectors to promote healthy eating and regular physical activity and discourage unhealthy lifestyles. These include reducing the contents of salt, sugar and saturated fats in
industrially manufactured foods, promoting the availability of healthy eating in schools or work canteens, and creating environments where people are encouraged to be more active. We can also further promote regular physical activity by creating more sidewalks, cycling lanes, green areas, fitness trails, hiking tracks, exercise programmes at work including others.
“Adopting healthy behaviours has become even more important now than before. Indeed, individuals with heart problems, overweight, hypertension and diabetes are more vulnerable to Covid-19 if exposed and are at increased
risk of developing severe complications resulted from the virus. It is also important to remind those under treatment for heart disease, diabetes and hypertension to continue taking their medication regularly as prescribed.
“While it is crucial that policy makers, in both public and private sectors, take responsibility to promote an environment that is conducive to healthy behaviours, it remains the responsibility of every one of us to do our best to
adopt such healthy behaviours. Every one of us should be committed to looking after our health by eating a healthy diet including a lot of fruits and vegetables and preferring water to sugar drinks, abstaining from tobacco, and practicing
regular exercise – setting an example for our children and loved ones.
“More than ever, I call on everyone to adopt healthy behaviours, thereby adding years to life and life to years.”
Press release from the department of Health