Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) calls for immediate postponement of the Delhi Half Marathon

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Air quality in Delhi hits a low; runners at risk of lung infections and other complications

New Delhi, 09 October 2018: Statistics indicate that the air quality in Delhi-NCR has taken a dip again. Since the last few days, it has been “unhealthy” to “very unhealthy” with the air quality index (AQI) hovering in the “poor” to “very poor” range. In light of this, the Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) has called for the immediate postponement of the Delhi Half Marathon to a later date, when the air quality is better.

Various parts of Delhi/NCR have shown high AQI: Dwarka Sector 8 (AQI 333), RK Puram (AQI 311), Mandir Marg (AQI 233), Sri Aurobindo Marg (AQI 258), Sonia Vihar (AQI 275), Anand Vihar (AQI 297), Okhla Phase 2 (AQI 298), and Mundaka (AQI 312). This deterioration can be attributed to a change in the direction of wind, which is now flowing from stubble burning areas in the neighboring states of Haryana and Punjab.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “The Delhi Half Marathon is scheduled to start from 5.30 am on Sunday, 21st October. This is also the time when pollution levels are likely to be extremely high with poor air quality. Air pollution is a well-recognized health hazard. Poor air quality can aggravate asthma or other existing lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). High PM2.5 levels can increase the blood pressure and can also increase the risk of acute cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke. Patients with existing heart diseases are at a risk of sudden cardiac death. Air pollution will not only affect the performance of the runner, but may have adverse health consequences, even for the healthy participants, organizers, and volunteers. The Heart Care Foundation of India appeals to the organizers to take into consideration the air quality at the time of the marathon so that no runner suffers any adverse health effects on account of exposure to hazardous levels of air pollution.”

An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor, and 401-500 severe.PM10 has a significant correlation with reduced performance in marathon runners. Under normal breathing conditions, PM10 is filtered through the nose. But, because of mouth breathing during exercise, PM10 is not removed and is instead inhaled in large amounts.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Marathons and other outdoor sports events have been cancelled in countries like USA, Malaysia, Singapore due to poor air quality. If the AQI is above 100, it is prudent for race administrators to warn participants and volunteers, particularly those with lung conditions, about the potential risk.

Some guidelines from HCFI

  • PM 2.5 < 10 Normal WHO standards
  • PM < 25 Normal UK standards
  • PM 2.5 < 60 Normal Indian Standards
  • PM 2.5 > 100 No marathon, cricket matches, sports tournaments
  • PM 2.5 > 200 No outdoor exercises, cycling,
  • PM 2.5 > 300 Stay indoors

Social responsibility should be a part of every individual’s life

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Registrations are invited for the HCFI CSR Awards 2018; last date for nominations is 1 October 2018

New Delhi, 30th September 2018: A study of India’s top companies for sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) shows that the top 200 companies spend around Rs 1369 crores on healthcare and wellness. About 24% of the total spend on CSR is focused on healthcare. Companies can do a lot to support healthcare as a part of their 2% mandatory spending. To recognize the contribution of business to healthcare, the HCFI CSR Awards 2018 are being organized as part of the 25th MTNL Perfect Health Mela this year.

Funds directed at CSR can become an enabler for driving innovation in healthcare processes and medical devices to deliver healthcare in a portable, convenient and cost-effective way. All this can further help in achieving the objective of ‘affordable healthcare’ which is also the theme for the Mela this year.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “According to the Vedas, we are living in Kalyuga and therefore, there is a general perception that it is not possible to bring about any change for the betterment of the society. However, this is not true. Just as the Satya yuga had both Gods (suras) and demons (asuras); Treta yuga had both Ram and Ravana; and Dwapar Yuga had Krishna and Kansa, there are bound to be Satya yugis amongst the Kalyugis, though in minor numbers. Doctors are true to their chosen vocation. They treat their patients with honesty (satya), selfless hard work (tapa), purity of mind (pavitrata), compassion (daya) and charity (daan) — all the characteristics that make a person satya yugi. Doctors, and not hospitals, charge no fee during emergency and subsidize their fee. This makes them Satya yugis and contributors to CSR.”

CSR is one way of becoming a Satya yugi. However, it should not be just limited to corporates. Each one of us too, as individuals, can carry out some acts of CSR or charity.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “The principles of charity remain the same: truthfulness, detachment, positive. This is the meaning of satyatap, and pavitrata. Everybody who is involved in charity or CSR should follow these principles of charity. A simple mantra to do this is, ask somebody ‘May I help you?’”

The various award categories for the HCFI CSR Awards include campaigns directed at Healthcare, WASH, Rural health, Women empowerment, Old age, Education, Livelihood, Food for all, Social Media, Public Relations, Cause Branding, and Post-disaster Relief, Childcare, and Environmental Excellence. An award for Project of the Year shall also be given. A jury comprising eminent medical practitioners, artists, social activists, educationists, and development professionals will decide the winners in various categories.

Nominations for HCFI CSR Awards 2018 are to be filled and submitted online. Campaigns executed during the year 2017/18 (for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018) are eligible as entries. The nomination should be accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation (max. 20 slides) and / or a 3-minute movie clip about the initiative. An entry fee of Rs 5000 per entry is to be paid. Organizations can apply under multiple categories as well. The deadline for submission is 1st October 2018. For the rules and regulations and other details one can visit, www.perfecthealthmela.com.

Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) felicitates principals and teachers on World Heart Day

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  • The event aimed at creating awareness on antimicrobial resistance and importance of heart health
  • All educators trained on hands-only CPR

New Delhi, 29th September 2018: The Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), a leading national not-for-profit organization, organized the HCFI Teachers’ Awards on 29th September 2018, commemorating the World Heart Day, at IMA hall.About 40 principals and 10 teachers from various government and private schools in Delhi-NCR received the awards for their exemplary contribution to health education at the school level.

Dr Sanyam Bharadwaj, Controller of Examinations, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was the Chief Guest at the event. The other dignitaries present included Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI; Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh Director and Dr Sunil Gupta, Additional Director National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The event was organized as a precursor to the 25th Perfect Health Mela to be held from 23rd to 27th October 2018 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.

Speaking at the event, Dr Aggarwal, said, “At the outset, I congratulate all those who have received the awards today. Apart from being centres for imparting formal education, schools also influence the overall development of a child. Therefore, any healthy habits and hygiene practices inculcated at this stage will stay with children all their life. They are thus both beneficiaries of any health-related activity and agents of change in their family. As educators, teachers and principals can help sow the seeds of good health at a young age and encourage students to impart this knowledge further.”

Dr Sujjet K Singh sensitized all those present on the importance of heart health and the rising incidence of antibiotic misuse. Everyone was also trained in the technique of hands-only CPR by Dr Aggarwal. CPR can help save a life during a heart attack.

Adding his comments, Dr Sunil Gupta, said, “Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise today thanks to misuse of antibiotics. It is imperative to create awareness on the fact that antibiotics are not sweets or chocolates but scheduled and toxic drugs that must be taken only on prescription by a health specialist. Just as they have been taught to say no to crackers, principals and teachers must guide children to follow the practice of not consuming antibiotics without actual need. Children and grahinis can become the drivers of this change.”

Some awardees include Ms Sonia Luthra, Principal, ASN Senior Secondary School, Mayur Vihar; Dr Neelu Goswami, Principal, VSPK International School, Rohini; MsDebolina Mukherjee, Teacher, Air Force School, Subroto Park; Ms Sarika Arora, Principal, Ramjas School, Anand Parbat; and Ms Nidhi, Principal, CRPF, Prashant Vihar.

Ms Sarika Arora, said, “I am extremely honored to receive this award. It is not just an encouragement for all the educators present but also a reaffirmation of our role in acting as agents of change in the lives of children.”

Heart health, antibiotic resistance, and CPR will be some important aspects of the Perfect Health Mela this year. The event is HCFI’s flagship project and one of the most visited community health events, covering all aspects of health, witnessing a footfall of over a lakh every year. meters. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Affordable Healthcare.’ It will be widely covered by both digital and media (electronic, print and outdoor) and will serve as the perfect educational yet fun outing for everyone.The Mela celebrates its Silver Jubilee this year and promises many exciting features for all who attend.

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