Doha, 28 September 2010: Dozens of visitors and staff flocked to the main lobby of Hamad General Hospital, a member of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), to take part in the World Heart Day event which was held on September 26 to educate the public on maintaining a healthy heart.
Visitors were able to benefit from free checkups and consultation which included checking their blood pressure, weight and height, blood sugar and cholesterol to determine their degree of risk of heart disease. After having their tests, the participants were given advice on how to best take care of their health and lessen their chances of acquiring cardiovascular diseases.
“We began the campaign more than 10 years ago to provide much-needed education for the public on how to prevent heart disease,” said Manal Hasan Elnaggar, one of the event organizers, who is a staff nurse at the Cardiology Department of Hamad Hospital. “One of our main concerns is the unhealthy lifestyle which is prevalent today in our society. People are taking less exercise and spending more time indoors in sedentary activities such as computer use. Eating habits have also become unhealthy, with people consuming more fatty foods and not taking their meals at proper times.” Elnaggar mentioned smoking as another major cause of coronary heart disease, along with physical inactivity, obesity, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.
“We want to encourage people to engage in healthier activities such as walking for at least thirty minutes daily, avoid fatty and unhealthy foods and opt for fresh vegetables, as well as get enough sleep each day,” said Elnaggar. “Eating good healthy foods need not be boring – it is a serious lifestyle decision that people need to make for themselves.” She also encouraged having checkups at least once every six months and quitting unhealthy habits such as smoking.
The event was organized by the Cardiology Department under the leadership of Ms Renee Benny, Assistant Director of Nursing-Cardiology and Mr Mahmoud Al Raisi, Executive Director of the new Heart Hospital at HMC. The pharmaceutical company Pfizer sponsored educational materials and machines used for the checkups.