Campaign aimed at creating awareness around cardiac health launched

5. (L-R) Kenya Red Cross Society staff and RaziyeCavusoglu, Business Line Manager- Patient Care Management Systems, Philips East Africa demonstrating how CPR is conducted. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA: Statistics by the Kenya Cardiac Society indicates that non communicable diseases (NCD) account for 30 percent of the number of deaths in Kenya, in which 12 percent of these are cardiac related diseases.

In commemoration of heart awareness month, and World Heart day, Philips East Africa limited in collaboration with Kenya Red cross on Wednesday launched a campaign aimed to create public awareness around cardiac health in Kenya, by introducing a gadget named Automated External defibrillators (AEDs) that have the ability to restart a heart that has been under attack.

Speaking during the event, Secretary General for Red Cross Kenya Abbas Gullet welcomed the move by Philips company, citing that many Kenyans have been under the serious illness that has led to many deaths.

Gullet pointed that, the company has offered the Red Cross 10 AEDs to help them fight the chronic disease and 12 more gadgets will be added, after they finish the challenge set to them of ensuring they mobilize Kenyans to cycle a bicycle for 152 kilometer for one gadget.

“An important element of the campaign is the #10MinHeartChallenge extended to the residents of Nairobi to ride bikes placed in strategic location outside of the National Archives Building in Nairobi,” Gullet said.

The 10MinHeartChallenge kicked-off on Wednesday, 27 September 2017, and will run through Thursday, 28 September 2017.

For every 152 kilometers biked (individuals are challenged to bike for 10 minutes) – Philips will provide one AED to the Kenya Red Cross, and the Kenya Red Cross will in turn identify and place the AED’s in public spaces throughout the Nairobi CBD.

The Philip Heart Start defibrillators (that will be given to the Kenya Red Cross) have a simple design, portable and guide the user through the resuscitation process using a clear, claim voice and audible instructions that act as a personal coach.

The user of a Philips Heart start defibrillators does not need to recognize or interpret heart rhythm, the AED does so automatically, making the treatment option safe and easy to use, with minimal training.

Speaking in the same event, Heart specialist from Aga khan hospital doctor, Jeilan Muhammed said that sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when the electronic system of the heart becomes chaotic, causing it to stop beating effectively and Lack of proper blood flow in the body.

He added that a person’s best chances of survival is to receive a defibrillators (AEDs) shock within five minutes of collapse with chances of survival reducing by 10 percent every minutes; after 10 minutes, few attempts at resuscitation are successful.

“Defibrillators will not save every person who experiences SCA, but more lives could be saved if those affected were reached more quickly.” Said the doctor.

High fat and sugar diets, rapid economic growth, long office hours, lack of exercise and urbanization are responsible for the increases in cardiovascular disease across Africa including Kenya.

While social and economic government steps are being made to reduce some of the factors causing heart disease, the reality is that the average Kenyan is at risk of contracting coronary heart especially sudden cardiac arrest.