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NCC Cadets take pledge for a healthy heart on the World Heart Day

September 29, 2012 - Hyderabad

To mark World Heart Day, the ‘Billion Hearts Beating Foundation’ – a campaigner against the risks of heart disease and a partner of the Apollo Group of Hospitals – today announced its partnership with the National Cadet Corps (NCC) in Hyderabad, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore.

Addressing the NCC Cadets at the Directorate of NCC, Secunderabad; Dr. Col. Sitaram, Cardiologist, Apollo Hospital, Secunderabad; said heart disease was earlier considered to be rich man’s disease but it doesn’t discriminate anyone today. He said Indians are genetically predisposed to the disease with 15% to 20% higher incidence and Andhra Pradesh leading with a high rate of incidence in the country. He wanted the youngsters to inculcate heart healthy habits from a young age, as the disease is afflicting people at a young age.

On the occasion, NCC cadets took the pledge for healthy heart – “We, the cadets of the NCC in partnership with Billion Hearts Beating do solemnly pledge to follow and share the SIMPLE 5 SOLUTIONS for a Healthy Heart. We pledge to eat healthy, quit smoking, beat stress, get active and act as torch bearers of this noble cause and promise to spread the message further.”

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Col. Raveen, Director, NCC DTE (AP); Col. Vishal Bhutani, Secunderabad Group Commandant; Col. Rajiv Sodhi, AD (Trg) NCC DTE (AP) and Wg. Cdr. MS Sekhar, Commanding Officer, No 2 (A) AIRSON (T) NCC, participated in the program.

Speaking about this initiative, Dr Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group said this is the beginning of a new chapter in the war against heart ailments, seeking to reduce the cardiovascular disease burden in the country. Such partnerships will help spread awareness in the country, in turn helping lessen the chances of heart diseases.

The campaign aims at informing people about the basic actions they can introduce into their daily lives to lead a healthy heart existence. To enhance and sustain good heart health in the country, the cadets across five metros – New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata – took the pledge to mark World Heart Day.

Dr Prathap C Reddy, Executive Chairman, Apollo Hospitals, said: “The number of people with CVDs is growing, and its impact is disproportionately felt by those in the developing world, where people die younger. CVD risk can be lowered by spreading awareness that helps people make healthier choices. There is dire need to make people aware of the cardiovascular risks that they face today. With this partnership, we seek to highlight the major factors contributing to heart disease and help families, corporates, communities and individuals to inspire and encourage the Indian youth to maintain their heart health through physical fitness and healthy eating habits as well as by curbing harmful lifestyle choices such as smoking and drinking.”

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This collaboration aims to train the NCC cadets across India with the requisite first-aid skills, including basic life support, and to certify the NCC trainers. Apollo Hospitalsmedical team will be interacting with various NCC academies to begin the training sessions.The partnership will be a long-term one, whereby over the coming years, Apollo Hospitals and Billion Hearts Beating Foundation will train thousands of young cadets to stand united against the heart diseasepandemic.

Ms Shobana Kamineni, Executive Director, Special Initiatives, Apollo Hospitals Group said: “Heart disease is one of the non-communicable ailments where the incidence has seen a steady rise in India over the past few decades, almost making it an epidemic. Statistics show that coronary heart disease accounts for as much as one-fifth of all deaths in India and, by 2020, it will account for one-third of deaths. But simple lifestyle changes and awareness can easily prevent its occurrence. Heart attacks have become prevalent in people as young as 35 years. The most affected are corporate professionals who lead a highly stressful, sedentary lifestyle. The Billion Hearts Beating campaign provides a platform to address the issue of cardiac health.”

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Billion Hearts Beating launched in April 2010 is anongoing movement to promote heart health across India by creating awareness about heart disease, its causes, symptoms, preventive measures, care and treatment. Subsequently it was established as an independent, not-for-profit foundation to help India become heart-healthy. The campaign has already reached millions of people across the country,with more than 350,000 people have already taken a pledge on www.billionheartsbeating.comto lead a heart healthy life. The campaign also aims to provide customized solutions for cardiovascular problems in specific segments – children, the youth, senior citizens, working professionals, members of the armed forces and women.

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