Program puts heart health on the radar
The Roebourne community acknowledged National Heart Week last week with a fun and educational event designed to look at how people can better foster good heart health.
The Pilbara Aboriginal Heart Health Program, an initiative of the Heart Foundation and Chevron, last Wednesday hosted a series of education sessions at Roebourne’s Gurlu Gurlu Maya Centre about the risk of heart disease followed by a walk around Roebourne Oval, drawing people from all over the community to share their stories about the health issue.
Cardiovascular disease is the single biggest killer of Australians and affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at significantly higher rates than nonindigenous Australians.
Among the local session participants was five-time heart attack sufferer and Roebourne resident Beverley Taylor. She said her first heart attack had come on with little more warning than a tingling in her arm but she had been saved by her 12-year-old daughter rushing her to hospital, allowing her to receive medical treatment fast.
“They flew me straight to Perth and I had two stents put in because I had a blockage in my heart,” she said.
“I now have six stents and I’ve had five heart attacks since.”
Ms Taylor said her heart attacks had been caused by stress and called for people to pay close attention to their heart health.
“I want people in the community to know you should always be healthy and get check-ups,” she said. “When you have heart attacks, it slows you down in life . . . you must get regular check-ups.”
PAHHP staff member Monteza Heard said a healthy and active lifestyle, including a good diet, 30 minutes of daily exercise and regular check-ups, could reduce the risk of heart problems.
For more information, visit heartfoundation.org.au/.