Year-long drive for schools on prevention of heart diseases

New Delhi, Aug 16 (PTI) Seeking to inculcate healthylifestyle among the youth and raise awareness about coronarydiseases, city-based National Heart Institute (NHI) todaykicked off a year-long outreach programme, as part of which itwill target at least one school in Delhi-NCR per week. "The programmes are aimed at raising awareness onprevention of heart diseases in the early years of life, giventhe unhealthy lifestyle of a majority of the population today,including children. "At present, students of grades 8 and 10 are beingtrained on topics such as prevention of lifestyle diseases,personal and menstrual hygiene, and CPR," an official of NHIsaid. National Heart Institute is the research and referraltertiary care heart hospital of the All India HeartFoundation, which acts as a nucleus for diagnosis andtreatment of heart ailments and allied diseases. The programme is being held as part of the 35thanniversary of NHI. The first event was organised today atAmity International School, Pushp Vihar and the second will beheld in Amity International School, Saket tomorrow, theofficial said. "The institute will be organising school educationprogrammes in one school in Delhi-NCR every week for the nextone year, as part of a massive effort to raise preventivehealth awareness," she said. Coronary heart disease is one of the major problemsfacing Indians today. The prevalence and risk of death due toa heart disease is "four times higher" in Indians than inpeople from other parts of the world, according to NHI. "High-stress levels due to work pressure, early smoking,drinking, and unhealthy eating habits are all responsible forthe early onset of heart disease. Earlier, heart disease wasonly prevalent in people aged, above 40-50 years but todaythose as young as in their late 20s and early 30s are fallingprey to this disease. "Children in their school-going years are very receptiveand vulnerable and therefore, this is the right time and ageto educate them on such issues and how to prevent them. Theschool education programme is the first step towards this,"CEO & Chief Cardiac Surgeon, NHI, Dr O P Yadava, said, on theoccasion. Though there exist risk factors in the population ofother countries, they have been able to slow this pattern byincorporating lifestyle changes and eating healthy. However,this cannot be said of a developing country like India, theInstitute said. PTI KNDRG

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