J'cans impacted on World Heart Day 2018
Jamaicans were impacted on world Heart Day on Saturday, September 29, as the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre came alive for World Heart Day.
World Heart Day 2018 informs people around the globe that cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke, are the world's leading cause of death claiming 17.5 million lives each year, and highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD.
It aims to drive action to educate people, that by controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, at least 80 per cent of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided.
The Jamaica Moves campaign, saw the need to recognise this day and spread awareness, because heart disease is also the leading cause of deaths in Jamaica.
The aim of the programme is to promote the prevention of NCDs (like heart disease, strokes, heart attacks) and Jamaica Moves would be remiss if it did not capitalise on World Heart Day as an avenue to inspire heart health and promote the three main tenets of the programme which are: knowing your health status by doing regular health checks, exercising at least 30 minutes everyday and eating healthy nutritious meals.
On World Heart Day Jamaicans were implored to make a commitment to their hearts by making a simple promise to make a conscious effort to undertake activities that will lead to good heart health. This was done by writing their promises on hearts which was then placed on the heart commitment wall to encourage others to also make a pledge to be kinder to their hearts.
Poised with 10 exhibitors, the exciting day was filled with samples, Jamaica Moves hats and shirts, fitness challenges, and heart trivia.
Jamaicans got the opportunity to freely interact with companies that have a firm hand or interest in health and wellness. The Heart Foundation of Jamaica and Partners Interventional Centre of Jamaica, offered blood pressure and sugar tests, as well as cholesterol checks and ECGs.
The Sugar Campaign of Jamaica was also present and informed those present on how to properly read labels so that they can identify the sugar content of many of our favourite beverages. Did you know a two-litre bottle of soda has 54 tablespoons of sugar? Patrons also made their way over to Colgate Jamaica, where they were educated on the connection between your mouth, teeth and heart. They also received samples of the new alcohol-free Colgate Total mouthwash.
Seven Seas, provided vitamins and cod liver oil samples, while Grace Foods issued samples of their tuna and aloe vera beverage, which highlighted that healthy options can be eaten as an alternative when snacking.
Guardian Group was on hand to answer questions related to insurance policies that cover heart and cardiovascular diseases.
Exhibitor Abi-Gaye Smythe, shared her story on her daily life while living with potentially deadly heart disease. At age 19, she was diagnosed with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARRD). Now 26, her mission is to offer support for persons who are living with heart disease through her Foundation - iHave A Heart.
The Kingston and St Andrew Health Department (MOH), happily provided the statistics on heart related diseases, health tips and advice throughout the day.
The day ended with a workout session to get the heart pumping and the blood moving, while hydration for the day was provided by WATA.
"To take care of your heart, you only need to start. Your heart is just asking you for one favour and one favour only - to take good care of your body and in return, your heart will take good care of you. The heart is the symbol of life and you simply can't allow it to deteriorate," said Minister of Health, Dr Chris Tufton, who passed through to speak to patrons and thanked the exhibitors for their contribution to making Jamaicans take better care of their hearts.