World Heart Day is a global campaign where individuals, families, communities and Governments around the world participate in activities to take charge of their heart health and that of others.
Created by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day informs people around the world that cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke is the world’s leading cause of death claiming 18.6 million lives each year, and highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD.
In order to mark this very important day, the GHA hosted an awareness stand outside St Bernard’s Hospital. The GHA invited the community to visit the awareness stall where Healthcare professionals sharing their knowledge and providing members of our community with the tools they need to live longer, healthier lives. The stall contained information leaflets prepared by the GHA’s Cardiac Rehab team and nurses also provided basic life support demonstrations.
The stall had been decorated by the nursing staff and also included a heart frame that was prepared by patients at John Ward as well as some money boxes, which were used in the fund raising. A tree of life where people could hang messages was also present to mark awareness for family and friends suffering from heart disease.
As one of the primary messages is to encourage the public to lead healthy lifestyles, four static bikes were loaned to the GHA by Physique Gym and GHA staff have been exercising throughout the day and raising money for the Gibraltar Cardiac Association.
The awareness stand was opened by Minster for Health Samantha Sacramento this morning, the Cardiac Association were also invited to the opening. The event was marked by bugler Richard Adamberry and Tony Galliano who played the bagpipe. The GFA also supported the event by attending the stand at St Bernard’s. The GHA said that the voluntary engagement and collaboration is very much appreciated by them.
The GHA staff also supported the Gibraltar Cardiac Association’s awareness stand at the Piazza today and staff from the GHA’s ambulance service attended and were demonstrating basic life support.
Finally, to wrap up the day, the GHA collaborated with Notre Dame School where the children made red lanterns, which were lit up in the GHA’s garden, in remembrance of passed families and friends.
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Mr Gerry Fortuna, who leads Cardiac Rehabilitation Services said: “World Heart Day is only one day a year to reflect upon heart health. How we think, and the choices we make, the remaining 364 days of the year, is equally as important towards cardiac health and overall wellbeing. Our healthcare specialist team at the Lionel Perez Cardiac Rehab Centre, remain totally committed to offering cardiac clients and their families, effective evidence- based, cardiac prevention and rehabilitation strategies; structured programmes and a platform of patient support. The team’s main objective on this day is to create maximum cardiac awareness, which will assist us to keep cardiac incidence in Gibraltar to a bare minimum”.
The Minister for Health and Care, The Hon Samantha Sacramento, opened the awareness stand this morning and said: “As the world struggles to fight the Pandemic, we’ve never been more aware of the importance of our and our loved one’s health. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death globally and it has many causes; from smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Taking care of our hearts right now is more important than ever. The GHA, as the Government’s healthcare provider, remains committed to implement policies and initiatives that will lead to positive changes and encourage individuals to lead a healthier lifestyle. I therefore thank the community who attended our awareness stall”.