- The 5K run/walk, which gets underway at 7:00 am, is aimed at raising funds for the HFJ.
- Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in Jamaica.
- The Jamaica Healthy Lifestyle Survey shows that 7.9 per cent of the population has diabetes.
Hundreds of runners are expected to converge at the Stadium East, Kingston, on Sunday, November 24 for the Heart Foundation of Jamaica’s (HFJ) annual ‘Run for your Heart’ event.
The 5K run/walk, which gets underway at 7:00 am, is aimed at raising funds for the HFJ to continue offering affordable heart testing, care, and rehabilitation, among other services to the general public. As part of the event, there will be workouts sponsored by popular gyms, other physical activities, and give-a-ways.
Speaking at the official launch on Tuesday, October 29, at the Emancipation Park, New Kingston, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, urged Jamaicans to support the event and embrace healthier lifestyles in order to significantly reduce cardiac-related illnesses other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
“Often times, we deal with the curative aspect of these diseases. But we need clearly to deal with the risk factors, which include physical inactivity, inappropriate diet, excessive use of alcohol, and tobacco use,” he said.
For her part, HFJ Executive Director, Deborah Chen, informed that cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in Jamaica.
She noted that the Jamaica Healthy Lifestyle Survey shows that 7.9 per cent of the population has diabetes; 25.2 per cent hypertension; 35.3 per cent, pre-hypertension; 11.7 per cent, high cholesterol; while 51.8 per cent are overweight and obese.
Mrs. Chen highlighted the role physical activity can play in reducing the figures.
“There are many people, who think if you suffer from a heart attack, then you have to be very careful of what you do and you’re not able to move around; but that is not the case. Under supervision, in the early stages, you can return to a full lifestyle and as a matter of fact, you can be fitter than you had been before,” she noted.
Participants in the event are asked to collect funds on behalf of the foundation via sponsorship forms, which they can collect, upon registration, from the HFJ’s offices at 28 Beechwood Avenue in Kingston. Persons can also contact the HFJ by calling 926-4378,
926-6492, 929-3195 or 906-9407; fax – 754-6441; or email at email@example.com. Additional information is also available on the HFJ’s Website – www.heartfoundation ja.org.
Prizes will be awarded to the winner of the 5K event, teams that collect the most money through sponsorship, and the team that has the most participants. There will also be spot prizes for runners on the track.
Former World Sprint Champion, Yohan ‘the Beast’ Blake, will also be on hand to sign autographs.
The Minister endorsed the event by taking the first symbolic walk around the track at Emancipation Park with the main sponsors and students.
‘Run for your Heart’ is a part of a $10 million fund raising drive to raise funds towards the Foundation’s Cardiac Rehabilitation centre and purchase medical supplies and equipment.