Getting into the heart of a healthy lifestyle

A RELATIVE’S heart attack despite the person being in seemingly healthy condition has opened the eyes of Ahmad Shafari to the importance of cardiovascular health.

The 38-year-old Indonesian tourist said his sister-in-law’s health scare back in his hometown of Batam was a wake-up call for him and his family to take heart health seriously.

“My sister-in-law is only 40 years old and have no prior health issues, yet she suffered a heart attack.

“It shows that we are all at risk and preventive measures are needed to safeguard our heart, including making the right lifestyle decisions,” he said when met at Malaysia’s biggest inflatable heart exhibition at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre in Johor Baru.

He added that the exhibition helped him to understand the inner workings of the organ.

The inflatable heart exhibit catches the attention of visitors during the event at Persada Johor. — Photos: THOMAS YONG/The StarThe inflatable heart exhibit catches the attention of visitors during the event at Persada Johor. — Photos: THOMAS YONG/The Star

“Before this, I had no idea about the specific functions of the veins and valves. Taking a walk through the interactive exhibition helped me understand my heart better,” said Ahmad.

Form Three student Nurul Dhaniya Syazzly Mohd Fazly said the exhibition helped her and her sibling Nurul Dhanisya Syazzly Mohd Fazly get a better picture of the cardiovascular system.

“Walking through the interactive inflatable heart, I was able to better understand what I learned in Science class at school.

“We also got to speak to experienced hospital staff who explained about the heart’s function during the exhibition,” she added.

The giant 8.8m by 4.6m inflatable heart exhibit was set up in conjunction with the World Heart Day celebration from Sept 29 until Oct 2.

The free exhibition, hosted by Persada Johor for the first time, was to create awareness on cardiovascular diseases, said Persada Johor general manager David Emir Bareng.

Ahmad says the exhibition helps him understand the inner workings of the heart.Ahmad says the exhibition helps him understand the inner workings of the heart.

“According to the Statistics Department, cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of death in Malaysia.

“Our effort not only educates the public on the ways to reduce the risk of getting these diseases, it also empowers them to choose a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their loved ones,” he said.

Yayasan Johor Corporation chairman Rozaini Mohd Sani said the foundation’s support for the initiative was also in line with its focus area of improving the quality of life through community well-being, which included various aspects related to the community and society such as healthcare.

“We are committed to encouraging the whole community to adopt a healthy lifestyle, practise balanced eating habits, exercise and have regular heart check-ups to get the most optimal heart health,” he added.

The exhibition included a blood donation drive, cardiopulmonary resuscitation demonstration, free basic health screening and heart health talk in partnership with the KPJ specialist hospitals.

The exterior of Persada Johor was also lit up in red from 7.30pm throughout the four-day event to stand in solidarity with international organisation World Heart Federation against cardiovascular diseases.

World Heart Day is celebrated internationally every Sept 29.

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