Heart disease is one of the leading cause of the death in the Uganda. It is also a major cause of disability. According to the WHO STEPS Noncommunicable Disease Risk Factors Survey 2014, Coronary Heart Disease Deaths in Uganda reached 8,428 or 3.26% of total deaths and ranked as number 4 of the killer disease in Uganda, and out of every 4 adults 1 has high blood pressure.

This creates a huge impact and comes with significant cost on the health infrastructure in Uganda. One of our goals is to reduce on this number by partnering with the Uganda Heart InstituteMinistry of HealthNBS TVRadio OneAkaboozi and Capital FM to launching a behaviour change campaign, host a heart camp and also collate an index that captures data on heart health in major cities across Uganda. Our action speaks to the compelling need to increase awareness about the causes of heart disease among the general public and the need for lifestyle changes.

There are many things that can raise your risk for heart disease. Some of them you cannot control but fortunately, there are many things you can do to reduce your chances of getting heart disease.

Here are some tips to protect you from Heart Disease.

Rheumatic heart disease is caused by throat infections spread by a bacteria called Strep A, which is common in children aged 5-15 years.

Have that sore throat treated especially in children as some chest infections may lead to rheumatic heart disease.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

The evidence is overwhelming that cigarette smoking and second-hand exposure to smoke increases the risks of heart disease, lung disease, peripheral vascular disease and stroke. It is advisable not to smoke or work hard towards dropping the habit. Avoid areas that are filled with cigarette smoke.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

Avoid High blood pressure by cutting back on salt intake, and sure you exercise regularly.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

A high amount of fat in your blood is a major contributor to heart disease. The lower the fat in your blood, the better for you.

If the amount of fat in your blood is high, you might need to improve your diet by reducing fried food. The food you eat can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

It’s no myth that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. The food you eat can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Choose low fat foods and foods rich in potassium like yellow bananas and matooke.

Eating garlic regularly also lowers your cholesterol. Change the oil you use, opt for vegetable oils.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

Eat more whole grain foods like millet, brown rice, oatmeal and even popcorn.

If you must eat bread then it should be whole wheat bread commonly known as brown bread.

Enjoy your vegetables; Steam them, boil them or have them raw in a smoothie.

Have a diet rich in fiber like beetroot, apples, avocado and carrots.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

This public health message is brought to you by Prudential Medical scheme in conjunction with the Uganda Heart Institute, Ministry of Health, NBS TV, Radio One, Akaboozi and Capital FM

Do you have an uncontrollable sweet tooth?

If you have a sweet tooth and cannot resist chocolate, go for dark chocolate.

Limit the amount of sugar sweetened beverages that you take and swap that sugar for honey.

Cakes and ice-cream need to be occasional like on birthdays or weddings

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

When possible, select meat without fat. Try eating some meals without meat. If you can, choose white meat like fish or chicken.

Have less fast foods like French fries and burgers

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

Watch what you drink!

Moderate your alcohol intake; up to one to two drinks per day, minimum.

Take more decaffeinated drinks and less sodas. If you must have coffee, don’t exceed 2 cups.

Drink at least 5 – 8 glasses of water daily.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

What should you snack on?

For children’s snacks, substitute cakes for apples since both cost roughly 1,000 shillings.

Adults should consider snacking on pumpkin seeds, chai seeds and ‘mukene’.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

What causes obesity

Obesity is caused by consuming more calories than your body burns.

Be careful about the size of the portion of food on your plate. Choose foods that are free of sugar. Obesity is a primary cause for heart disease.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

How to keep a healthy heart

Get at least 30 minutes of moderately aerobic activity at least 5 days a week. That’s a total of 150 minutes

Or You could opt for atleast 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days a week, adding up to 75 minutes. Any combination of these, is good for the heart.

For additional health benefits, you may include Moderate to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days a week.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

How to keep a healthy heart

Walk as often as you can. You can ride a bicycle to work or in your neighborhood. When at work try taking the stairs instead of the lift.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

To Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Try to get an average of 40 minutes, moderate to vigorous aerobic activity 3 or 4 times a week

Also add 2 or more days of muscle-strengthening activities to work on all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulders, and arms).

Children should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

Pick your pills wisely

Check with your doctor before popping too many painkillers

You should not take more than one pain killer at a time, for example don’t take both ibuprofen and aspirin at the same time

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

How to reduce the stress levels

Stress contributes to heart disease and, if severe, can cause a heart attack.

Try to avoid scenarios that make you anxious or angry.

Reduce stress by exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, laughing, volunteering or attending community activities.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

Always stay curious and informed about your health

Go for routine check-ups at least once a year.

Get vaccinated when necessary.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

 

Go for checkups

Go for regular check-ups if you are hypertensive, diabetic or obese to avoid heart disease from manifesting.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

Quick diets do not work

If any of them did, we all would be on THAT one, wouldn’t we?

The obesity rate is rising and contributing to an increase in diabetes in Uganda. Make sure you eat right, exercise to prevent heart disease.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

To protect your unborn baby from heart disease

Start and stick to an exercise plan today, and you’ll be rewarded with a healthy body that’s fit for pregnancy. A healthy exercise program includes 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise, such as walking or cycling and weight training at least three times a week.

Omutima gwo! Protect it. Live longer.

This public health message is brought to you by Prudential Medical scheme in conjunction with the Uganda Heart InstituteMinistry of HealthNBS TVRadio OneAkaboozi and Capital FM