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On Sunday 29 July, I attended an event by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) on Health and Happiness at Vishwa Hindu Mandir in Southall. The event was organised by BHF and Ajivan: The Society for Health and Happiness.
The event aimed to raise awareness of heart disease in South Asians – some of whom can be at twice the risk of developing the disease than the general UK population (1) - and it highlighted simple lifestyle changes that can help people reduce their risk.
Attendees heard from a range of speakers including cardiologist, Dr Sandy Gupta, and local GP Dr Onkar Sahota who offered advice on nearby health services and how to maintain a healthy heart. Dietician Azmina Govindji talked about how to cook traditional South Asian foods in healthier ways while Vijay Rana gave tips on managing stress and being happy. Sunrise Radio presenter, Ravi Sharma, also attended the event.
People were also offered training in what to do if someone’s having a heart attack including how to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Qaim Zaidi, Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Project Manager at the BHF, said: “Temples are where people go to boost their spiritual health. But they offer much more than prayers. We hope our event will help boost people’s physical health too.
Many South Asians don’t realise they can be at greater risk of heart disease, so it’s crucial we get the message out there and help people find simple ways of reducing their risk.
I took part in CPR training amongst many other activites to raise awareness amongst the community. As South Asians we need to take extra care of our hearts, and this event helped get the BHF’s vital messages across in a fun and engaging way.