Dr Rashid Al-Owayesh

By Abdellatif Sharaa

KUWAIT: Secretary General of Kuwait Heart Foundation Dr Rashid Abdelaziz Al-Owayesh said the coronavirus pandemic prevented people from marking World Heart Day last year, "but it gifted us the idea of communicating through social media to reach the largest possible number of people and make them aware of heart diseases and their risks". World Heart Day is marked on Sept 29 every year.

"We will participate in the celebration this year. The World Heart Federation was keen for Heart Day logo containing a heart to be publicized to remind them that caring for the heart is very important. They should be aware on how to reduce the risks of heart disease, including lifestyle changes, eating healthy food, exercising and refraining from smoking," Owayesh said.

"Everybody knows that we in Kuwait, like all developed countries, suffer from heart diseases. The latest statistics for 2019 showed that 43.5 percent of deaths in Kuwait are due to heart problems, in addition to other diseases such as tumors (13 percent) and traffic accidents (6.5 percent). This calls upon us to care for the heart and make people aware of its diseases, as the more we spread awareness and correct information, the more people will be aware of how to maintain their health," he added.

Dr Owayesh said Kuwait Heart Foundation is a voluntary nonprofit organization that was founded in 1982 by Kuwaiti businessmen in cooperation with cardiologists to spread awareness among citizens and residents. The foundation has carried out many activities and covered all societal sectors, including the elderly, youth, the ill and doctors. He added the foundation has had contacts with various communities in Kuwait and provided them with awareness about heart diseases, including a mobile unit in which tests are conducted.

Owayesh said 80,000 individuals have been tested from 1996 until now, adding the tests included those for blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. They were given advice and instructions by specialized doctors, in addition to leaflets with valuable information.