Virtual event held to spread awareness about Cardiovascular disease

By: Our Correspondent

KARACHI: Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL), in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, University of Manchester and National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (Pakistan) organized a virtual event on  “World Heart Day”, which was attended by a number of people from Pakistan, Bangaldesh and United Kingdom including Health Professionals, General Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Patients/Carers and general public.

Every two seconds, a person aged 30 to 70 dies prematurely from non-communicable diseases

WHO

This day is observed on 29th of September each year and is promoted by World Heart Federation to spread awareness for Cardiovascular Diseases and reduce the global disease burden. According to the WHO, Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year, of which more than 85% of deaths occur in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LAMICs).

At the event, Prof. Imran Chaudhry, Honorary Professor of Adult Psychiatry at University of Manchester and Professor & Chairman of Department of Psychiatry at Ziauddin Group of Hospitals, welcomed the audience and briefly talked about the importance of the World heart day and the large study on heart failure published by the research group. He further emphasized on measures to take care of cardiac health and well-being during the current COVID-19 pandemic where everyone has limited access to healthcare facilities. Prof. Zainab Zadeh, Professorial Scientist and Head of Division, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning talked about mental health problems especially depression and anxiety in cardiovascular diseases. She also talked about challenges and barriers in accessing help for cardiovascular diseases in LAMICs. She further stressed upon people who are at risk of cardiovascular diseases due to the presence of one or more risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, or already other established diseases. Prof. Tahir Saghir, Professor of Cardiology, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, talked about prevalence and impact of cardiovascular diseases, lack of awareness in rural population and delay in treatment concerning cardiovascular diseases in Pakistan. He further added that it is our responsibility to practice and promote general guidelines to reduce stress, maintain healthy diet, and avoid smoking and drug abuse. Prof. Nabila Soomro, Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Dow University of Health Sciences, talked about the importance of cardiac rehabilitation and exercise for people with heart diseases. Dr. Mithila Faruque, Assistant Professor, Department of non-communicable diseases, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences, talked about prevalence and risk factors of cardiovascular diseases in Bangladesh.

Prof Rod Taylor, Professor of Population health research, University of Glasgow talked about a very large ground breaking proposed research project “Affordable Cardiac Rehabilitation: Affordable Cardiac Rehabilitation: An Outreach Inter-disciplinary Strategic Study” the public engagement work was supported by NIHR-RIGHT call-3 for Bangladesh/India/Pakistan which is focused on community cardiac rehabilitation including help with depression and anxiety which are very common in people with heart disease. The session was concluded by Prof Nusrat Husain, Professor of Psychiatry and Director Research for Global Mental Health at the University of Manchester and consultant psychiatrist at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, with recommendations to the audience about prevention and self-management. Prof Hussain also emphasized on exercise, healthy diet and nutrition for a healthier nation both physically and mentally. There was a Q&A session at the end of the panel discussion, where audience asked multiple questions about cardiovascular diseases and mental health conditions, which were answered by the expert panel.