Prof. Ama Mbakwem, Consultant Cardiologist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, says that noise and air pollution increases people’s exposure to heart diseases.
She said this on Friday on the sidelines of a sensitisation session with students of the International School of Lagos, ISL.
The sensitisation was done in commemoration of the World Heart Day which holds on Sept. 29 of every year.
The theme of this year’s celebration is “My Heart, Your Heart.”
Mr Mbakwem appealed to the Federal and State Governments to effectively enforce existing laws that would protect citizen’s hearts from exposure to pollution.
“The amount of soot emitted into the air by some vehicles at times will blind other drivers and also pollute the atmosphere.
“We need to enforce our laws and arrest these drivers because they are endangering our lives.
“Also, Lagos is a very noisy place, all these horns that we are blaring, and noise that we make is affecting our hearts.
“It has also been discovered that people who live close to airports and are exposed to the noise of planes landing and taking off, and those who live on major roads have higher risks of heart diseases,” she said.
The cardiologist urged government to make the environment heart friendly by constructing walkways alongside roads to enable pedestrians to walk and exercise without fear of being hit by cars or motorcycles.
She said that the sensitisation of the students on heart related issues was to get their commitment to make good choices in food and lifestyles toward protecting their hearts.
“All the disease we suffer as adults starts from the choices we made in our childhood, so our aim is to sensitise the students on choices that would help them live healthy life in the future,” she said.
Another Cardiologist, Dr Casmir Amadi, said that the focus on adolescents was to catch them young, get their commitment to reduce intake of sugary drinks, eat more of fruits and vegetables in their diets.
He said that preventive measure was better than managing or seeking medical treatments for heart related issues in the future.
Also Commenting, Dr Ramon Moronkola, Consultant Cardiologist, said that World Heart Day provided an opportunity to raise awareness on preventing Cardiovascular Diseases because of the alarming rate of deaths.
According to him, about 18 million people die yearly from cardiovascular diseases, thus the need to sensitise individuals, families, communities and governments on choices that would promote healthy heart.
“We are sensitising the children because we know that habits you formed as children will be hard to break as adults,” he said.
He said that taking practical steps to eat healthy, exercise more, avoid smoking and alcohol would protect the heart from diseases.