The National Cardiothoracic Centre (NCTC) Korle-Bu, has advised persons who smoke and drink alcohol to quit and rather adopt healthy eating habits and exercise regularly to prevent heart diseases.

The counsel comes as Ghana joins the globe to mark World Heart Day today, Tuesday, 29 September 20202.

World Heart Day is celebrated on September 29 of every year by World Heart Federation to draw people’s attention to heart diseases.

The day is commemorated to promote different preventative steps and changes in lifestyle to avoid any cardiovascular diseases including heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

Speaking at the launch of the World Heart Day, the Director of National Cardiothoracic Centre, Dr Lawrence Agyeman Sereboe, encouraged the public to frequently conduct checkups on their hearts, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the era of COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Agyeman Sereboe said: “Hospital attendance has declined in this era of Covid-19 because of the fear of contracting the virus. We know that worldwide, heart diseases account for 25% of deaths for non-communicable diseases making heart disease the leading cause of deaths. Stop excessive alcohol intake, fats, Shisha smoking, avoid unhealthy diet and obesity”.

He added: “It’s estimated that about 17 million people die from heart-related illnesses annually and this figure is estimated to rise to about 23 million by 2030”.

For his part, the Head of Cardiology Division at the National Cardiothoracic Centre Dr Abdul-Samed Tanko wants the public to cut down on sugary foods and scale-up regular body exercises.

Wilmar Africa Ltd presented GHS100,000 to the National Cardiothoracic Centre as part of its “Frytol Healthy Hearts Campaign”.

According to the General Manager of Wilmar Africa Ltd., Mr Kwame Wiafe, “the campaign will be national in character to create awareness so Ghanaians appreciate cardiovascular issues and contribute to the fight against heart diseases”.

The General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr Justice Yankson, advised the public to “keep a healthy heart”.

“Without the functional heart, you’re gone.

“So, eat properly, healthy diets, less cholesterol, stop toxic materials, excess salts, regularly check your blood pressure as you hit age 30 and above”.