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Foundation trains students, others on prevention of heart -related deaths

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As part of measures to reduce the cases of heart related deaths in Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation, Joe Nwiloh Heart Foundation, has organised a medical outreach programme to educate the public on how to perform cardiovascular resuscitation on victims of cardiac arrest.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the world and the second highest cause of death in Africa.

The outreach, which took place at the Igbobi College, Lagos, was targeted at secondary school students, parents and medical personnel of secondary schools. It had in attendance participants from the host college, Methodist Girls High School, (MGHS) Lagos, CMS Grammar School, Bariga, all in Lagos.

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 cardiovascular resuscitation is performed. Participants including students, parents, teaching and medical staff of participating schools also took turns to practice what they were taught.

The initiator of the foundation, Dr. Joe Nwiloh explained that the students were the focus of the medical outreach because everybody needs to have an understanding on how to save the lives of family members and strangers when they suffer heart seizure.

He added that it was necessary to teach the next generation how to carry out chest compression in alignment with the American Heart Foundation guidelines, which states that no student should graduate from high school without knowing how to perform resuscitation.

Nwiloh stressed that teaching secondary school students how to perform cardiovascular resuscitation through chest compression is a worthy investment in the quest to reduce incidents of death arising from cardiac arrest.

“Most of the heart attacks happened outside of the hospital settings, they happen at homes, religious places, in our communities; so we believe training students in high school is training the next generations of our life savers,” he added.

He, however, urged for support to drive the initiative forward, while appealing to individuals to contribute and help be their 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; without any help, most of them do not survive past childhood and adolescence, so we think there is need to help these people,” he stated.

According to the founder, the goal of the foundation is to serve as a beacon of hope to heart patients needing lifesaving surgery and other interventions and treatment currently unavailable to them due to financial constraints.


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