Marking the international Heart Failure awareness month, Novartis Pharma Services and the Lebanese Society of Cardiology (LSC) launched the heart failure awareness campaign to increase understanding of the disease while emphasizing on the importance of accurate diagnosis to receive the optimal treatment. The campaign entitled “No matter how strong your heart is, its muscle might have weakened” was headed by the president of LSC Dr. Sobhi Dada and was attended by healthcare professionals, senior officials from Novartis, LSC, Heart Failure Working Group, and members of the press.
Dr. Sobhi El Dada, President of Lebanese Society of Cardiology, stressed on the alarming prevalence of heart failure in Lebanon and the importance of public education: “We believe that efficient management can contribute in reducing the burden of the disease not only on the patients and their caregivers but also on the healthcare system. Early medical intervention would significantly improve the patients’ health and quality of life by reducing hospitalization and eventually decrease mortality rates. It is also the time to embrace advanced strategies and implement new therapeutic modalities to better manage the condition.”
From his side, Dr. Hadi Skouri, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine Heart Failure and Transplantation at AUBMC, commented: “Heart failure is a clinical, psychological and social disease. It can be considered a syndrome of multiple etiologies and several coexisting comorbidities. Its management is comprehensive with a major role for the patient and his/her caregivers. Awareness of symptoms and knowledge of the disease are as important as medical therapy.”
Heart Failure is a progressive and debilitating condition that affects 1 in 5 people, where the heart does not pump enough blood to meet the body's needs for blood and oxygen. Although a life-threatening condition with around 77,000 patients in Lebanon, general public underestimates its risks confusing it with many cardiovascular diseases. Heart failure incidence is rising driven by deteriorating lifestyle – almost 12,000 patients hospitalized yearly in Lebanon, increased survival after heart attacks and ageing populations.
“We are pleased to team up with the Lebanese Society of Cardiology who shares with us a common vision and complements our efforts to better manage heart failure in Lebanon,” said Amer Hammoud, Country Operation Head at Novartis Pharma Services. “It is crucial to adopt innovative solutions to help people acquire the necessary knowledge and put the necessary medication at their disposal. People living with Heart Failure today have a stronger hope to lead a better life and this campaign aims at answering the unmet need by reaching out to people across Lebanon and make a positive impact on their lives,” added Hammoud.
Heart Failure can appear slowly and worsen over time, significantly impacting quality of life. Although there is no cure for this condition however improved awareness can make a big difference. Diagnosed patients who follow their treatment and improve their lifestyle can live longer, feel better and be more active. The main symptoms are shortness of breath, fatigue and fluid retention while the causes might be due to damage to the heart muscle after a heart attack or from illness such as diabetes, hypertension or cancer.
The campaign targeting cardiologists, patients and caregivers as well as the general public will be promoted through several medical workshops, community roadshows, activities in clinics and hospitals.