Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) take the lives of 17.7 million people every year, making up 31% of all global deaths. The leading causes of cardiovascular diseases include tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol. In Kenya, the prevalence of strokes as a result of heart failure is on the rise due to Kenyans adopting a more inactive lifestyle. This combined with high cholesterol diets such as Nyama Choma and fast food means more Kenyans are prone to obesity which is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Hypertension, strokes, heart failures and clots are some of the well-known cardiovascular diseases that are affecting Kenyans to date. A government study conducted in 2015 showed that 56 per cent of Kenyans have never been screened for hypertension. This then results to more and more Kenyans being diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases later in life after failing to take the necessary steps to get themselves checked.
Resolution Insurance held a wellness forum on Tuesday 26th June 2018 at the Sarova Panafric hotel targeted at educating attendees on prevention and management of heart diseases. Key speaker Dr. Sanjeev Gera, Sr. Consultant & HOD- Cardiology Department at BLK Super Speciality Hospital in India spoke on the various aspects of cardiovascular diseases while giving solutions and remedies on how to avoid and manage them.
Kenya is embarking on a major heart disease research project that will see 5,000 subjects observed and tracked for three years from 2018.These findings will be very useful and may potentially reduce cardiovascular diseases amongst Kenyans. The country also stands to benefit further from universal healthcare that is to be made accessible by 2022 as it is key in Kenya’s development agenda.
We cannot tackle cardiovascular diseases without people knowing the state of their hearts. It is extremely important that more Kenyans become conscious of their cardiovascular health. Regular checkups will keep more people aware of the state of their hearts and a healthier lifestyle will help sustain a healthy heart.
We should all take charge of our cardiovascular health as the heart is a vital organ that should be taken care of with utmost importance. The forum emphasized looking into preventive measures rather than reactionary measures as the way to decrease cardiovascular diseases in the country.