Being connectors of positive change
Heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions and unlike most diseases, the symptoms of heart disease are often silent and not diagnosed until one experiences a heart attack or heart failure. The Namibia Heart Foundation is a charity organisation that hosted a fundraiser breakfast on 9 April at Hilton Hotel, Windhoek.
The founder of the Namibia Heart Foundation, Gerhard de Koe, said that this is a relevant topic that needs to be addressed daily basis to make people aware of heart conditions. “I experienced a heart surgery myself in 2008 and I believe that this event serves with the aim and purpose of normalising discussion to bring light not only to the negative side but also ways in which unwanted heart health concerns may be prevented and dealt with,” De Koe said. He added that our health is important to us and we should make it a constant priority as we are at a standstill without it.
Marlize Horn of the Capricorn Group, which sponsored the event, said they recognise the numerous health problems that exist in Namibia beyond the Covid-19 pandemic that has taken over our lives. “Now more than ever we need to raise more awareness of heart disease, as heart problems account for 30% of deaths in Namibia,” she said.
Horn added that this year they decided to focus the fundraiser event on women because as heart disease is the number one killer of women. “This aims to empower women with the knowledge on how they can lead a healthy life,” she said.
The Capricorn Group wants to bring positive change in all the regions. This involvement with the Namibia Heart Foundation is one example of the positive change the group makes.
Ilke Platt, who was the director of ceremonies, delivered the keynote speech on behalf of the health minister, Dr Kalumbi Shangula.
The minister said people with co-morbidities such as hypertension and other heart diseases are more at risk of severe complications if they contract Covid-19
“There is a need to strengthen multi-sectoral involvement regarding heart-healthy living of communities and employees through the provision of quality, comprehensive heart health services to the entire Namibian nation,” Shangula said.
The Namibia Heart Foundation believes much more needs to be done when it comes to educating the nation on heart health and additionally helping, guiding and supporting individuals affected by cardiac disease.
“We use this fundraiser event as a stepping stone to do more within society. May this event be the first of many,” De Koe concluded.
PHOTOS MONIQUE ADAMS
Pic 1: The founder of the Namibia Heart Foundation, Gerhard de Koe.
Pic 2: Panellists of different health professions shared insights on ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle.