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National Cardiothoracic Centre Marks World Heart Day   
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World Heart Day (WHD), was founded in the year 2000 to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year.

Each year’s celebrations have had a different theme, reflecting key issues and topics relating to heart health. WHD 2014 focused on creating heart-healthy environments.

This year we are continuing with the theme from 2014, putting a spotlight on creating heart-healthy environments to ensure that people have the best opportunities to make heart-healthy choices and reduce their own cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, and that of those around them, wherever they live, work and play

Too often, society blames the individual’s lifestyle choices for his or her CVD. But the environments in which we live, work and play can have a huge effect on our ability to make the right choices for our heart-health.

We believe that every Ghanaian everywhere has the right to make healthy heart choices. But we all need to take action to make this happen.

Healthy heart choices where you LIVE

Making even just a few changes at home can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
• Stocking up on healthy food options
• Banning smoking from the home
• Learning more about your family's risk of CVD and
• Understanding the signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stroke.
• Encouraging children to engage in more outdoor games and less of computer games and watching of TV.

Healthy heart choices where you WORK
On World Heart Day, we're urging workplaces, schools and hospitals to make their environments, places where people can make healthy heart choices by:
• Saying no to smoking
• Encouraging cycling to work or school
• Taking the stairs
• Offering healthy, affordable food, and
• Reducing stress
• Encouraging staff to take a walk around the office anytime the schedule allows them to

Healthy heart choices where you PLAY
Physical inactivity can contribute significantly to heart disease as it can lead to unhealthy weight gain, diabetes and raised blood pressure, so we at the National Cardiothoracic Centre are urging every Ghanaian to take control of his or her heart health by getting more active.

Today marks the climax of the month long activities marking the event. The celebrations started with a press launch. Our Campaign Ambassadors 'Kwabena Kwabena' and Miss. Abigail Baciara, reigning Ghana's Most Beautiful queen 2014 and their various teams, have joined us to take the message across the media, various university campuses and on the various social network platforms.

As has been our custom, the last Saturday of September, this year being the 26th, saw the staff of the National Cardiothoracic Centre, our Campaign Ambassadors and the National Blood Service Ghana undertake a 'heartwalk', health screening and blood donation exercise at the Efua Sutherland’s Children Park in Accra.

Other groups which participated in the event were, a team from the Nii Okai Ministry, contestants of the Miss Earth Ghana beauty pageant, youth from the Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church, Mamprobi, members of the Susanna Wesley Methodist Auxiliary (SUWMA), of the Nazareth Methodist Church, Mamprobi and students from the universities of Ghana, Legon, Professional Studies Legon, Central University and Ghana Telecom University College.

In conclusion, this year, we also want everyone to increase awareness of and support for World Heart Day by taking a 'Healthy Heart Selfie' and sharing it with the world at: www.twitter.com/worldheartfed using #heartchoices.

We will also share all posted ‘Selfies’ on our website and facebook page.

We wish to thank all our sponsors, led by the GCNET, Vodafone and Stanbic Bank and all who collaborated with us to make this year's celebration successful.

We wish you all very healthy hearts.
Source: Chris Joe Quaicoe/ email: [email protected]

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