health as it happens

Dublin 8 communities urged to put health at the Heart of Our City -

A new pilot project to promote good heart health in the community has been launched on the southside of the city.

he Heart of Our City programme is aimed at anyone living in Dublin 8 who wants to improve their own heart health and that of their family and friends.

It also supports GPs, pharmacists and community groups in helping people better understand the symptoms and causes of heart disease and how to prevent it.

Figures show that one in four Dublin 8 residents avail of cardiovascular health services and have difficulty taking medication at the correct time.

Community research conducted earlier this year identified heart health as an area of concern for locals, with 23pc of respondents saying they would like more support and information.

The programme, which was officially launched by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, is led by Smart Dublin 8, in conjunction with the Irish Heart Foundation and pharmaceutical company Novartis.

Smart Dublin is an initiative of Dublin’s four local authorities to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens through collaboration and innovation.

Under the Heart of Our City programme, those living in Dublin 8 can avail of information on how to live a healthy life and improve their heart health.

There is also support available for those suffering from heart disease or recovering from a stroke.

A leaflet has been produced to outline the various supports available through the programme. This includes advice on healthy eating, how to stay active and details of stroke support services.

There is also information on access to ‘social prescribing’, where a healthcare or community worker connects people to a range of non-medical services, such as gardening, dance classes, yoga or healthy cookery classes.

Dr Angie Brown, Medical Director with the Irish Heart Foundation, said: “Heart disease and stroke can have a devastating impact on families across Ireland and we know that 80pc of this is preventable.

“A key challenge is in empowering people to make the changes they need to lead healthier lives and that is the focus of this project.”

Orla Veale, Project Lead with Smart Dublin 8, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with the Irish Heart Foundation and Novartis on the Heart of Our City programme, which is responding directly to the needs of the community.

“Smart D8 aims to transform the health and wellbeing of citizens, and this project will make a real impact.”

Audrey Derveloy, General Manager of Novartis Ireland, said: “With the healthcare challenges and inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic, it is even more important for organisations to partner on preventive healthcare approaches like Heart of Our City.

“This is a critical time for us to explore how we can pivot away from simply treating disease, to instead collaboration and prevention.”

According to the Irish Heart Foundation, someone in Ireland suffers from a stroke every hour and hundreds are diagnosed with heart disease every day.

Almost 9,000 people die each year, making heart disease one of the nation’s biggest killers.