GulfNews: Health festival focuses on heart ailments

GulfNews: Health festival focuses on heart ailments

Professional to hold seminars and counsel on how to maintain healthycholesterol levels and lifestyles

Dubai: The third annual Family Health Festival endorsed by the Ministry ofHealth and Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and sponsored by AstraZeneca,officially began yesterday to bring the latest health information tovisitors.

The event was inaugurated by Dr Hanif Hassan, UAE Minister of Health, andattended by Ebrahim Saleh, Festivals Coordinator General and Deputy CEO ofDubai Events and Promotions Establishment.

This year’s primary focus of the festival is based on AstraZeneca’s Safe atHeart Initiative, which aims to raise awareness about the growing burden andprevention of cardiovascular disease in the region.

For the third consecutive year, Safe at Heart is visiting an array of venuesincluding malls, select DSF locations and corporate houses to make thepublic understand, address and prevent common health conditions.

Specific activities will highlight cholesterol awareness through preventivescreenings and education.

“DSF has always been sensitive about generating awareness effectively onseveral health issues. We have partnered with the Ministry of Health andother stakeholders in the past to deliver such information through veryinnovative channels.

“An event of this nature is perfectly suited for the people as they arerelaxed and in a mood to absorb. DSF is an ideal platform to bring suchissues to their notice in a fun manner that could affect their lives. We areproud to be associated with the third edition of this very unique concept,”said Saleh.

Sound advice

The Safe at Heart Initiative, which is also endorsed by the Emirates CardiacSociety, brings seminars and counselling with health care professionals onhow to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Changing into a healthierlifestyle is the first step before resorting to medication. Once highcholesterol levels are medically treated, it is important to monitor valuesto ensure they are maintained at a safe level. European research has shownthat 50 per cent of patients on cholesterol lowering medication are notadequately controlled.

Results from the Gulf-wide Cepheus study, to be revealed later this year,will provide local data on the status of cholesterol control.

“Awareness is the key to managing and controlling any disease effectively.It is perhaps more relevant in heart conditions as their onset is largelypreventable.

“Our region is particularly affected due to disproportionately high rates ofobesity and diabetes. A multi-disciplinary approach, involving all levels ofthe community, is required to combat the rise of cardiac conditions in theface of this dangerous combination. Events such as these are very powerfultools, they allow us to generate awareness about heart health and screeningfor its increased levels amongst visitors,” said Tarek Rabah, President ofAstraZeneca Gulf.