By Victor Bieni
Staggering statistics released by a reputable pressure group and a Non Governmental Organization in Delta state, has revealed that
over 17 Million People die annually from the medical condition known globally as Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), due to improper treatment and management of heart diseases and stroke, often caused by smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure.
This frightening disclosure was made during this year’s World Heart day celebration in Asaba, the Delta state capital, organized by the Ebube Oyintari Otiono Little Hearts Foundation, and the Quick Response Initiative, in Collaboration with World Heart Federation, on Monday, 30 September, 2019.
Addressing news men at the end of the Walk for Health street procession and other sensitization events, which were part of activities lined up for the World Heart Day celebration, the Founder/CEO, Ebube Oyintari Otiono Little Hearts Foundation, Mrs Elaebi Otiono-Kimia and Founder/CEO, Quick Response Initiative, Mr. Mike Onosiake, who are both medical health activists and social workers, affirmed that CVD had taken a negative trend globally, as more and more people succumb to the fatal consequences of not giving their heart, which is the engine room of every living human being, the required and necessary care and attention it deserves, with some important life style dietary and health activities.
The other activities to commemorate the World Heart Day also included a visit to Internally Displaced persons (IDP) Camps in Asaba, where the organizers offered free Heart Medical Check-up to all residents, as well as direct enlightenment and instructional public lectures, using both conventional media and other hands on Communication methods, to sensitize the youths, market women and the general public on the dangers of smoking tobacco, excessive consumption of alcohol and the unhealthy indulgence in sugary beverages, sweetened juices, salts, and other heart damaging foods and beverages.
The two healthy heart advocacy initiators, Mrs Otiono-Kimia and Mr Onosiake, were quick to stress the point that every heartbeat matters because heart health for everyone is a fundamental human right and a crucial element of global health justice.
Addressing the youths, Women, Men at the ICE Internally Displaced Persons, IDP Camp in Asaba, they said: “We advise everyone of you to be heart heroes after the free medical checkup and treatment, by engaging yourselves in fruitful exercises and to cook, eat more healthily in order to lower your cholesterol level.
“The free medical checkup is to encourage you all at the IDP Camp today as we Mark the World heart day in Asaba, a campaign being carried out in over 100 countries by 200 Organizations and scientific societies, to encourage our youths, children and even adults to say no to smoking tobacco and other things that might work against their age, population, health and lead to cardiac diseases in their lives”.
Responding to the World Heart day organizers, the Leadership of ICE Asaba IDP Camp commended the sensitization Program, the Free medical check-up and treatment and also the distribution of free samples of the power oil to the inmates of the camp.
They then expressed their gratitude to the organizers for their kind gesture in remembering those in the IDP Camp and while assuring that they would all comply with the advise and observe the healthy living instructions, equally
urged other civil Society Organizations in the state to emulate what the World Heart day has done, to give everyone a sense of belonging in the society and the chance to live s longer healthier life.
The beneficiaries numbering over three hundred, including Mrs Okafor Grace and Mr. John Nkem amongst others, commended the Ebube Oyintari Otonio Little Hearts Foundation and the Quick Response Initiative, as well as the partnering organization, for the enlightenment and free medical check up as well as the gift of Power Oil yo them.
According to them, the occasion of the World heart day, which provided the opportunity for the Foundation to offer them free heart medical check-up and prescriptions/medications for their treatment, has indeed improved their heart health knowledge and provided them with information not only on the dangers of Cardiovascular disease (CVD), high blood pressure, the risk factors as a silent killer, that shows no signs and symptoms, but indeed on how to manage their heart health, adding that the
program has impacted positively on their lives and given them a better insight on how to manage their hearts from now on.
The events commemorating the World Heart day in Delta state, saw the combined efforts of civil Society Organizations in the state, the Ebube Oyintari Otiono Little Hearts Foundation and the Quick Response Initiative, both of whom are in partnership with World Heart Federation.
The Ebube Oyintari Otiono Little Hearts Foundation, which is the primary organization in the project, was set up by Mr and Mrs Fabian Otiono, the parents of Ebube Oyintari Otiono, who was born in 2006 with the congenital heart condition.
Young Ebube Otiono has managed this heart condition for 13 years, but at great financial burden to his parents, Mr and Mrs Otiono, who have had to send him to the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, India, every year for annual check up and treatment at tremendous costs, in addition to the huge expenses incurred during numerous visitations to national Teaching and specialist Hospitals for preliminary diagnosis, prescriptions, treatments and recommendations for the overseas trips, over the years.
So the foundation was set up, not only to draw global attention to young Ebube’s condition and indeed provide a platform to reach out to him and other children like him, but also to show the world how young Ebube has been a beautiful story of a heart hero and a shinning example and encouragement to others carrying one heart condition or another, that this is one situation that can be managed successfully with proper medical attention and a healthy life style, no matter your age.
Since inception, the Ebube Oyintari Otiono Little Hearts Foundation, in collaboration with other related NGO’s, including the Quick Response Initiative, has embraced the crusade to embark on medical health advocacy and social activities, including the annual World Heart Day celebration, dedicated to leading the global fight against Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, through their action and leadership, which has promoted Community drive, towards making people live longer, better, and more heart- healthy lives.