Heart to heart for slum dwellers on community radio

 On World Heart Day, a programme  Dil ki baat on cardiovascular ailments and their preventions has been started on community radio in the slums in Vasant Kunj. The initiative is a joint venture by an educational institute and a hospital.

On Saturday, the programme was broadcasted all day long. “It aims to sensitise people about the essentials of heart diseases and offer precautionary tips. It is designed to reach out to those who have scant access to modern communication tools like the print media and internet,” said a hospital official. People from Masudpur, Rangpuri Pahari, and Kusumpur slums can listen to the programme. Jagannath Institute of Management Studies (JIMS) and BLK super speciality hospital are part of the initiative.

Message to all

“Given the enormity of heart ailments in India and its growing notoriety as an epidemic, it is imperative that we reach out to all segments of society and create awareness,” said Neeraj Bhalla, chairman of department of cardiology at BLK hospital. “While those in urban settlements have information coming in from many sources, this is not true for people living in slum localities.”

The officials are of the view that due to community radio’s deep reach, the message will be easier to spread. The programme will be run everyday for few hours. “Democratisation of information and its easy access has been an issue and we felt this was the right forum to create awareness on heart problems on the World Heart Day,” said Ravi Dhar, director, JIMS Vasant Kunj.

A symposium was jointly organised by Indian Public Health Association, Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College (VMMC) and Safdarjung Hospital. “Globally, cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for 31 per cent of all deaths causing 17.3 million people to die every year, with 80 per cent of deaths taking place in low and middle-income countries,” said a doctor from VMMC. “By 2030, it is expected that 23 million people will die from CVDs annually — that is more than the population of Australia.”

World Health Day was created in 2000 to spread awareness that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death.

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