The Federal Government has launched Cardiac Emergency Response Box also known as Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to respond to heart emergencies.
These life-saving devices were inaugurated in Abuja by the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, who underscored their critical role in responding to heart emergencies.
The theme for this year’s World Heart Day is “Use Heart, Know Heart,” a global initiative aimed at raising awareness about heart health and promoting preventive measures to combat heart diseases.
Pate who was represented by the Minister of State, Dr Tunji Alausa, explained that the boxes which were donated by the Nigerian Heart Foundation(NHF) would be deployed at appropriate designated high population areas such as airports.
He reiterated that the heart is one of the vital organs of the body and the engine room is responsible for pumping life-sustaining blood to all parts of the body. He added that the heart needs to be protected against diseases and conditions that would cause it to malfunction.
“Statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO), shows that Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) are the leading Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and are the foremost cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year.
“Of these cardiovascular deaths, 85% are due to heart attack and stroke, and over three-quarters occur in low- and middle-income countries.
“The 2018 WHO NCDs Country Profiles show that NCDs accounted for 29% of all deaths in Nigeria with CVDs responsible for 11% of all the NCD deaths.
“The country profile also shows that the risk of dying prematurely from NCDs in Nigeria is 22%.
“Premature mortality in this instance is defined as death occurring between ages 30 and 70 years from any of the common NCDs”, he said.
The minister said that although the FMOH is currently in the field conducting the National Steps Survey of NCDs, several pockets of studies in Nigeria report various incidences and prevalence of CVDs such as hypertension at a prevalence greater than 30%.