‘Enugu Walk With Kanu’ On World Heart Day Makes Huge Impact
The one-day celebration of World Heart Day with the ‘Enugu Walk With Kanu’ came to a fitting end Thursday, September 29, 2022, in Enugu, Completesports.com reports.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, 2000, set aside September 29 every year as World Heart Day.
Nwankwo Kanu, a former Nigeria captain and the skipper of the first African team to win the Olympic Games Soccer Gold Medal, floated Kanu Heart Foundation in 2000 which has facilitated heart surgeries for almost 500 persons.
On Thursday, inhabitants of Enugu, both men, and women, young and old, thronged the Michael Okpara Square Enugu which was the take-off point for the 8km Walk.
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Fitness clubs, Rangers International players, and sports clubs, among others, took part in the walk.
The ecstatic crowd went through the distance with local ‘Egwu Ogene’ music that even Kanu himself joined in singing and ‘dancing the walk’.
Men of the Nigerian Police, Road Safety Commission, and Civil Defence provided security as the crowd walked through the marked route, enjoying every bit of the four hours, 35 minutes walk.
Back at Okpara Square, Kanu took time to visit all the different groups and took photos with them.
While Heart screening by UNTH Cardiologists was freely going on at the far end of the Square, different speakers took turns to heap plaudits on kanu, a 1995 UEFA Champions League winner and two-time African Player of the Year.
An emotional Nwankwo Kanu appreciated the huge turnout and commended the people for showing interest in matters that concern their health.
“Keep it up. Health is wealth. We must be alive, and strong to make money.
“And I must say that Heart, being the engine of the body, must be ‘kept beating’ all the time with regular light sporting activities such as walking,” Papilo reiterated.
The UNICEF Ambassador later told Completesports.com that his Foundation, KHF, has over 200 patients with heart-related ailments on the waiting list for surgery.
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He also disclosed that his dream of Kanu Heart Hospital was still intact despite economic constraints.
“We can’t stop doing what we are doing. Yeah, the Foundation has done well with over 500 successful heart surgeries but there are still more, about 200 on the (awaiting) list,” the former Arsenal forward said.
“The cost keeps rising, which is the reason the Foundation proposed a heart hospital before.
“Yeah, it’s still possible. We need all the support we can to get things done”.
The FIFA/CAF Legend was also full of gratitude to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu for their support and excellent services, especially in the area of Cardiology.
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