Heart Month will be observed during the month of February under the theme ‘Check Your Heart; Be COVID Smart’.
Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, Executive Director of the Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ), Deborah Chen, explained that the theme has been chosen against the background of the health impact COVID-19 has had on individuals with underlying risk factors for heart disease and other NCDs.
The HFJ is encouraging persons to attend the Heart Foundation to get screening.
The Foundation, which is located at 28 Beechwood Avenue in Kingston, accepts clients without a referral or an appointment.
“If we identify a potential risk, we will refer you to one of the health professionals. If you can’t make it to the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, you have your health centres and private doctors,” she said, while urging persons to ensure that they know their numbers by the end of February.
Several activities have been planned to observe Heart Month, beginning with a virtual launch on Thursday, February 4.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, will be the keynote speaker.
Outside broadcasts will be held at Portmore Pines, Boulevard Supercentre, Ocho Rios and Breezy Castle on February 5, 12, 19 and 26, respectively.
There will be a Virtual Medical Symposium – the Knox Hagley Memorial Lecture – on February 25.
The lecture will be delivered by renowned Cardiology Professor from the Division of Cardiology, University of California and President of the Inter-American Heart Foundation, Dr. Nathan Wong. He will speak on the topic ‘COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Disease: Opportunities for Prevention’.
Screening, which is ongoing at the HFJ’s Beechwood Avenue offices, will also be conducted at health centres across the island. These include Frankfield, Albert Town, Duncans, Wakefield, Christian Pen, Stony Hill, Lawrence Tavern, Norman Gardens, Hagley Park and Waterford.
The HFJ will be hosting a virtual gym for four Thursdays during the month of February, with fitness expert, Jessica Cargill.
Interested persons are invited to contact the Heart Foundation for details.
A Valentine’s Day promotion will take place on Friday, February 12, under the theme ‘Healthy Hearts, Healthy Relationships’. Heart Month will culminate on February 27 with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Day, as well as Saturday opening at its Beechwood Avenue offices.
The Heart Foundation encourages adherence to infection prevention and control protocols that have been recommended by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. These include social distancing, regular washing and/or sanitising of hands and wearing masks, all of which are enforced at the Foundation’s offices.