Nairobi, March 17th, 2018: Hundreds of Kenyans today gathered at Uhuru Gardens Nairobi to participate in The Karen Hospital Heart Run.
The Run which is one of Kenya’s major charity sporting events has over the years attracted thousands of participants from across the country. Today’s event attracted more than 10,000 participants.
The event was officially launched by Nairobi County Executive of Health, Dr. Hitan Chhagan Majevda. In his address, he urged participants to adopt healthy lifestyles to maintain healthy hearts.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed heart diseases among the highest killer diseases across the world. Heart diseases are mostly lifestyles diseases. We therefore need to remain vigilant by watching the types of food we eat and maintaining healthy lifestyles. Running is one of the ways we can remain healthy. We should also avoid fatty, fried and salty foods,” he said.
He lauded The Karen Hospital for raising funds through its charity arm- Heart to Heart Foundation to conduct surgeries for children from less privileged families.
“We would like to also thank The Karen Hospital for treating these children and ensuring they can walk, run, play and lead normal lives,” he said.
The foundation established in 1993 by Dr. Betty Gikonyo and Dr. Dan Gikonyo who were tired of seeing children die from preventable heart diseases.
Speaking at the function today, Dr. Dan Gikonyo, who is also a Trustee of the foundation reiterated the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyles by exercising, eating healthy foods and also avoiding smoking. He said smoking was harmful.
Also present at the function was the foundation’s Trustee, Dr. James J Mageria and Nairobi county’s Gender and Education County Executive, Ms Janet Ouko.
Dr. Majevda also stressed the importance of increasing awareness of rheumatic heart disease which is 100 percent preventable.
“Prevention is always better than cure. This also goes a long way in saving costs associated with treating these heart diseases. The cost of conducting a heart operation ranges from approximately Ksh 350,000 to Ksh 1.3million and therefore out of reach for many families,” he said.
Ms Ouko said the County government was committed towards providing healthcare for the city’s residents.