In 2015 the world undeniably came together, probably more so than ever before. By adopting the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, countries around the world recognised that the future is too important to be left to chance and too fragile to keep avoiding the challenges we as humanity face today. A brighter and better future can become our reality only if we all pro actively engage and contribute to achieving our common goals. We as individuals, organisations, businesses, civil societies and nations all have a role to play in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
Issues of health and well being are one of the key challenges we must resolve in order to reshape our planet and realise the vision of sustainability. Sustainable Development Goals #3 (SDG 3) calls for all actors to put healthier societies in the foreground of our endeavours. Shortly titled Good Health and Well being, it seeks to ‘ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’. Amongst the 13 targets that undertake the world’s most prevalent health issues in our modern societies, Target 3.4 is the one that sheds light onto the grim reality of cardiovascular diseases.
In 2016, 31% of all deaths globally were caused by cardiovascular diseases. They account for more than 17 million deaths worldwide, making CVD not only the number one cause of premature mortality, but also the number one cause of mortality overall. The World Heart Federation predicts that, by 2030, this number will likely rise to 23 million.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels that can lead to a CVD event. One such disorder is peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the lower limbs. While the general public is mostly well aware of heart disease or cerebrovascular disease, it is less so with PAD. Little do people know that patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) face a much higher prevalence for developing PAD.
Data shows that over 60% of patients with CAD also have PAD. One of the main reasons of low awareness rate is the asymptomatic nature of PAD.
70% of patients with PAD do not show any symptoms (masked) and are therefore not treated in time.
Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioural risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol. These are also targets for SDG 3. However, preventive measures will not suffice. People who are at high risk of developing PAD (due to risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia, etc.) need early detection and appropriate treatment. That is why MESI initiated a non-profit campaign entitled Healthy Arteries, along with partners from the NGO and health sectors.
The Healthy Arteries Campaign is a global campaign that is meant to promote early the detection of blocked arteries, raise awareness and educate patients about peripheral arterial disease.
Since over 75 % of CVD deaths take place in low and middle-income countries, it is important to take necessary actions on a global scale. The Healthy Arteries Campaign responds directly to SDG 3 of Agenda 2030, or more specifically Target 3.4, which states ‘By 2030, reduce by one-third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being’.
In order to do so, we need all of you to take an active role. If we wish to realise ambitious Sustainable Development Goals and become a healthier society in the future, we need to cooperate.
That is why MESI is calling out and inviting everybody – companies, not-for-profit organisations, healthcare experts and individuals from around the world to participate in the Healthy Arteries Campaign and help raise awareness of PAD. By forming partnerships, we can provide patients with early and appropriate treatment.
Early diagnosis of blocked arteries can save lives, and so can you!