In furtherance of the World Health Organisation (WHO) quest to reduce incidence of heart-related deaths, a non-governmental organisation, the Joe Nwiloh Heart Foundation has hosted a medical outreach programme aimed at impacting the knowledge of how to perform cardiovascular resuscitation (CRP) victims of cardiac arrest.
According to WHO, heart disease was the number one cause of death in the world and the second highest cause of death in Africa.
The outreach programme held at the Igbobi College was targeted at secondary school students, parents and medical personnel of secondary schools. It had in attendance participants from the host college, Igbobi College Yaba; Methodist Girls High School, (MGHS) Lagos, CMS Grammar School Bariga, all in Lagos among others.
Highlights of the one-day event included teaching participants how to perform cardiovascular resuscitation on victims of heart seizure and failure, how to inculcate habits that prevents heart failure and practical demonstrations of how CRP is performed. Certificates of participation were also awarded to part awarded to participants and partners of the organisation. Participants including students, parents, teaching and medical staff of participating schools also took turn to practice how to perform CRP.
Speaking with news men during the programme, initiator of the foundation, Dr. Joe Nwiloh, explained that students were targeted because it believes everybody needed the understanding of how to save the lives of family members and strangers alike when they suffer heart seizure adding that, it is imperative to teach the next generation on how to carry out chest compression in alignment with the American Heart Foundation guidelines that no student should graduate from high school without knowing how to perform resuscitation.
He stressed that teaching secondary school students how to perform CRP through chest compression is a worthy investment in the quest to reduce incidents of death arising from cardiac arrest.
“According to the World Health Organisation, heart disease is the second leading cause of deaths in Africa and number one in the world, most of the heart attacks happened outside of the hospital settings, they happen at homes, religious places, in our community; so we believe training students in high school is training the next generations of our life savers starts in the schools and this is in alignment with the American Heart Association guidelines that no student should graduate from high school without knowing how to do cardiovascular resuscitation because cardiac arrest can happen at any place and at any time
“We are appealing to corporations with Corporate Social Responsibilities and individuals as well to all contribute and help be our neighbours keeper, as you know about 70 per cent of Africans live below the poverty level, less than a dollar and 25 cents a day according to the World Bank, and these are the bulk of people who live with the ravages of both co-genitors and acquired hearts diseases and without any help any of them do not survive past childhood and adolescence, so we think there is need to help these people; being poor should not life to the fullest like the rest of us,” he stated.
The Joe Nwiloh Heart Foundation was established over 15 years ago and with support from partner organisations and individuals, has over the years funded open heart surgeries for indigent members of the society. Besides surgeries, it has also severally engaged in outreach programmes aimed at helping to reduce the wide disparity gap to technologically advanced treatments of heart disease in sub-Saharan Africa compared to the rest of the developed and developing world.
According to the founder, the goal of the foundation is to serve as a beacon of hope to heart patients needing lifesaving surgery or other interventions all treatments currently unavailable to them due to financial constraints