Singapore, 29 July 2018 – As part of the 20th anniversary celebration as a pioneer and leader in heart care, National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) held its inaugural “NHCS Heart & Sole Challenge 2018” on 29 July 2018 morning at Punggol Waterway Park.
The Fun Walk-cum-Race event was flagged off by Guest-of-Honour, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources & Ministry of Health. Dr Khor joined more than 300 participants, made up of heart patients and their families/caregivers, healthcare professionals, and members of the public, in this meaningful and fun event.
Six activities were also available at “health stations” that lined the five-kilometre scenic route. The event participants learnt about the importance of cardiac health and prevention against heart disease through activities such as foods that are beneficial for healthy living, causes of heart disease, how to perform life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and simple exercises to improve heart health that are even simple and safe enough for the elderly. In addition, there was a bazaar with booths that showcased health and wellness products, as well as an exhibition that featured educational posters on tips for a healthy heart and lifestyle.
Stage performances including “live” juicing and Zumba demonstrations, a symphony orchestra rendition, and an aerobics workout led by the Health Promotion Board further enhanced the festive mood and energy level of the event.
Professor Terrance Chua, Medical Director of NHCS said, “Mirroring the global cardiovascular disease trend, ischaemic heart disease is the third principal cause of death locally, affecting about one out of every five Singaporeans1. This figure is on the rise and affects not just the elderly but also the younger population. Thus, it is essential to understand as early as possible the importance of the impact of heart diseases and its prevention as part of NHCS’ continual efforts to improve cardiovascular care in Singapore and around the region.”
Dr Calvin Chin, Consultant at the Department of Cardiology, NHCS, and Chairperson of the event’s organising committee shared, “The idea of this walk-and-race event was borne out of the desire to engage the public and to raise the overall awareness of cardiac health and heart disease prevention. We hope that through this outreach initiative of NHCS, we can create greater awareness of maintaining a healthy heart in an enjoyable way.”
16 NHCS patients with end-stage heart failure who are implanted with an artificial heart and their families also turned up in full force to support the fun walk and its cause. “Many end-stage heart failure patients who are currently on left ventricular assist device (LVAD) – a mechanical heart pump which takes over the function of the heart – are often unsure of how they can carry out activities such as long-distance walking and other sports. This event is a good avenue for them to try some exercise and at the same time, push themselves out of their comfort zones. Walking together with other fellow LVAD patients is also a fun way to encourage one another to stay active and healthy. Having a positive mindset and regular exercise are beneficial to our well-being, despite what our heart conditions might be,” said Ms Salina, Vice Chairperson of NHCS’ LVAD patient support group and the longest surviving LVAD patient in Singapore since her LVAD implantation in 2009.
1 Principal causes of death by Ministry of Health Singapore