On the occasion of World Health Day, World Health Organization on Thursday called for united effort to reduce mortality from cardiovascular diseases, a leading cause of death in the South-East Asia Region with 3.6 million lives lost every year.
“Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented. This requires whole-of government and whole-of society approaches to address the range of risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region at a webinar ‘SEA HEARTS’ to promote heart health and to reduce premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, strokes and diabetes.
To reduce deaths from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) by one third by 2030, WHO South-East Asia Region plans to scale up and integrate ongoing initiatives through ‘SEA HEARTS’, the ‘WHO South-East Asia HEARTS initiative’. All countries in the region have adopted the ‘WHO HEARTS’ package, a step-by-step approach for countries to improve cardiovascular health in primary health care.
“We must mobilize and strengthen political will and accountability, with a focus on achieving full implementation of the ‘WHO HEARTS’ technical package,” Singh added. This year theme for World Heart Day is ‘Use heart for every heart’ to highlight actions to prevent and control cardiovascular disease.
“Use heart means to think differently. To make the right decisions. To act with courage. To help others. ‘For every heart’ means ensuring that we reach as many individuals as possible to help achieve cardiovascular health for every heart,” the Regional Director said.
As part of a united effort to promote cardiovascular health, representatives from member countries, partners, academic institutions and civil society organizations participated in the webinar which discussed ways to accelerate action against CVDs.