Dr Kingsley Akinroye, Executive Director, Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF), says the organisation is to raise N100 million from hosting its 20th annual Charity Golf Tournament in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
Akinroye told a news conference on Thursday in Lagos that the tournament was geared toward promoting heart health, especially the prevention and control of heart diseases.
He disclosed that the competition would take place on Sept. 1 in partnership with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
He said the NHF was keen in carrying out its mandates on national health awareness since research had shown that heart diseases were going to occupy a prominent position on the cause of death, especially on developing countries.
According to him, funds are needed to combat the growing increase in heart blood pressure being a major cause of death of adults in Nigeria.
“Heart diseases over time have become the commonest cause of death in the adult population which are highly preventable but we have yet to curb it.
“Most of it is related to our lifestyle, essentially the food we eat in terms of nutrition and in terms of physical activity.
“Thus, we are driven to partner with NIMASA because we know that physical activity which is interpreted as exercise is very important to the heart.
“Twenty years ago, heart blood pressure wasn’t an issue of discuss but today over 34 per cent of Nigerians are suffering from it as the major heart desease in the country,” he said.
Akinroye said that the foundation intended to raise N100 million from prime and household sponsors who believed in the cause of the foundation.
He noted that the funds would be used in disseminating needed health information via print and social media as well as telecoms platforms.
“The monies will also be use to fund scientific research that will give us the much needed data to combat heart diseases.
“From this funds, we will also train young scientists inclusive of doctors, dieticians and even sports personnel to different parts of the world in acquiring research skills.
“We also will push for more policy advocacy to combat heart-related issues just like we recently see the results of our pressure for policies on tobacco materialise after years,” he said.
Isichei Osamgbi, Deputy Director and Head, Public Relations NIMASA, who represented the Director-General, said that the agency was partnering with the NHF as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to ensure and aid economic development.
He said that sponsoring the foundation’s drive towards raising awareness on heart related-diseases’ causes and prevention was needed to curb the rate of death across gender and all ages.
“The Dakuku Peterside-led administration is proud to lend its voice to the fight on prevention and cure for heart-related diseases that have become the rampant cause of death in Nigeria.
“It is part of our ethics to achieve and sustain safe, secure shipping, cleaner oceans and enhanced maritime capacity in line with global best practices towards Nigeria’s economic development as well as support organisations that are in the fight for a better economy for the citizenry,” he said
The NHF is a national charity inaugurated in 1992, with the objectives to prevent heart diseases, prevention of heart diseases and promotion of research on cardiovascular diseases.
The foundation is affiliated to the World Heart Federation (WHF) in Geneva, Switzerland, and is also a founding member of the African Heart Network