Kanu Talks Up 2022 World Heart Day – KHF Enugu Walk For Life
Nwankwo Kanu, a former Super Eagles captain, has shed light on the ‘Enugu Walk For Life’, an event organised by Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF) slated for Thursday, September 29, starting from the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, Completesports.com reports.
The exercise tagged ‘Keep The Heart Beating’ is being organised by the Kanu Heart Foundation to celebrate the 2022 World Heart Day.
The UNICEF Ambassador and FIFA/CAF Legend exclusively told Completesports.com Tuesday afternoon that the KHF is aiming to create awareness of the functions of the heart, stressing that many people hold the erroneous impression that they are ‘healthy simply because they are alive’.
“Kanu Heart Foundation, KHF, is partnering WHO to celebrate World Heart Day,” starts the former Arsenal forward when Completesports.com called him up Tuesday afternoon.
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“This is an annual event. We’ve held it in Lagos, and the last edition was held in Abuja.
“This time, we thought it wise to bring it down to the South-East and Enugu becomes the obvious choice because it’s the center of the South Eastern part of the country.
“We are trying to create awareness on the workings of the heart. Many people think they are healthy just because they are alive.
“So we decided to let them know the importance of exercise to the heart, hence the ‘Enugu Walk For Life Kanu Heart Foundation’ exercise.
It would be recalled that following his transfer to Italian Serie A side, Inter Milan in 1996 after leading Nigeria’s U23s to win the Olympic Soccer gold in Atlanta, Georgia, Papilo was diagnosed with a heart defect by Inter medics.
This prompted the first ever known heart surgery by a Nigerian and African footballer at Cleveland Hospital, USA.
Thereafter, the Nigerian floated the now famous Kanu Heart Foundation, KHF, in 2000, through which he has facilitated successful heart surgeries for over 480 persons, including kids, youths, and adults of both sexes.
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The success of such surgeries and their huge financial implications compelled Kanu to moot the idea of floating a heart hospital in Abuja and has acquired land to that effect.
Quite a lot of celebrities have signed up for the Enugu Walk For Life program.
“Aside from the importance of exercises like walking, to the effective functioning of the heart, it’s also important for people to know the status of their hearts”, the UEFA Champions League winner with Ajax Amsterdam, in 1995, added.
“To this effect, we are also organising heart tests for participants.
“The medical screening will be conducted by medical experts from the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu,” Kanu explained.
Completesports.com understands that Nwankwo Kanu himself and Enugu State governor, H.E. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, will lead other notable celebrities like Yul Edochie, Jnr Pope, Diewait Ikpechukwu, Okon, chief Friday Ede onyenku Faco, Jane Obi, Mazi AYK, and Khing Bassey amongst others in the eight (8) kilometer exercise billed to commence at 9.00 a.m at Okpara Square through Presidential Road, Ogui Road, Otigba connecting Independence Layout and back to Okpara Square.
Coordinator cum Trustee of the Kanu Heart Foundation, KHF, Pastor Onyebuchi Abia, further informed Completesports.com that aside from Nollywood thespians, market men and women, nurses, youth corpers, civil servants as well as sportsmen and women will also take part in the ‘Enugu Walk For Kanu Foundation’ exercise.
Abia, a veteran sports journalist, explained that the KHF, as a
a non-governmental organisation aims to put back smiles on the faces of children and adult heart patients using the global annual event to inform and educate people around the globe on heart illnesses and their associated factors.
Abia revealed that organisers have concluded arrangements with various security agencies like police, Road Safety, and University Teaching Hospital Enugu, UNTH, to mobilise support and control traffic for the event.
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He added that attendance for the walk ‘is free for anyone that has a heart’, confirming also that medical screening to be carried out during the event by the medical personnel of the University Teaching Hospital Enugu is free.
“World Heart Day, WHD, was founded by the World Health Organisation, WHO, in 2000 and celebrated on 29 September annually to inform and educate people around the globe on heart illnesses and their associated factors”, Abia said in a statement he sent to Completesports.com.
“WHD celebration serves as an opportunity for people across the globe to take part in the world’s biggest intervention against cardiovascular Diseases, CVD,
, which includes heart diseases and stroke, which are among the World’s major causes of death.
“As reported by WHO in 2016, an estimated 17 million people died from CVDs, about 85% are due to heart attack and stroke.
“The prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, CVD, is on the increase in developing nations of the World. Over three-quarters of CVD deaths take place in low and middle-income countries which include Nigeria.
“Modifiable risk factors for CVD include High Blood Pressure, High Blood Cholesterol, and Diabetics”.
He enumerated the objectives of the 2022 celebration to include
educating and creating awareness on the rising trend of CVDs, their risk factors, and preventive measures that can reduce the impact of CVDs across the states of Nigeria.
“It’s also aimed at getting the knowledge of CVD to people of different Socio-demographic characteristics, bringing the knowledge of September 29th as World Heart Day to the Nigerian populace and to screen for high blood pressure, basal metabolic rate, body mass index, BMI, blood glucose and other CVD risk factors among civil servants amongst others.”
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