Just over 3000 Ugandans turned up last week for a free heart camp that was organized by Prudential Uganda at Constitutional Square in Kampala. The Heart Camp ran for three consecutive days.
It was the second edition of the Prudential Heart Camp where over 3000 people got access to free heart check-ups which consisted of ECHO, ECG and advice from professional Cardiologists, Doctors and Nutritionists on how to prevent heart disease.
Other check-ups included BMI, blood sugar and blood pressure all at no cost. In addition, the campaign hopes to reach 10 million Ugandans countrywide through TV, Radio and Social Media to spread the message of better heart health through regular check-ups, exercise and better nutrition.
“Our decision to host a Heart camp was prompted by the rise of Non-Communicable Diseases in Uganda.
“The last national survey published by the World Health Organization and Ministry of Health indicates that in Uganda alone, 1 out of 4 adults has high blood pressure which is a major cause of heart disease and other heart-related complications,’’ said Arjun Mallik, MD Prudential East Africa at the press conference during the closing of the camp.
“We got exposed to these incidences from our medical scheme (Pru Med) that provides insurance coverage for acute and chronic diseases and therefore felt compelled to make a contribution in reversing this trend and in playing our role in making Ugandans healthy so that they can live longer and active fulfilling lives,’’ Arjun added.
Dr Emmy Okello, the lead cardiologist from Uganda Heart Institute said, they received 3 kinds of people.
“The people who have heart diseases; were helped adjust their medication and appropriate referrals were made.
“The people who were found to have recently developed heart disease were advised on how to adjust their lifestyle in order to live a normal life and how to curb the continued progression of the disease.
“We were glad to receive many people whose hearts were healthy and this is exactly what we encourage, you should not wait to feel pain or other signs and symptoms of heart disease before you see a doctor,” said Okello.
Okello said of all the over 3000 people who turned up for the Camp, 57% were male and 43% were female. Of these, 64% had abnormal blood pressure, the majority of whom were between the ages of 32 to 50, 61% were overweight and only 1.5% had high amounts of sugar in their blood.
According to Dr Okello, some of the abnormalities noted include hypertension, enlarged hearts (dilated cardiomyopathy) and diseases of the valve.
“Heart diseases are preventable and most of them are simply caused by our lifestyle choices. I urge all Ugandans to adopt a much healthier lifestyle by exercising, eating right, keeping away from stressful activities, having regular medical check-ups to check your blood sugar levels, BMI, Blood Pressure, that’s the only way we can prevent heart disease,” said Dr Okello.