Dubai: Responding to the constant rise in cardiac cases in the UAE, RAK Hospital has set up two free heart screening camps in Ras Al Khaimah.

The RAK Ghalilah Medical Centre and Al Hamra Medical Centre will offer complimentary screening of blood pressure, random blood sugar, body mass index and electrocardiogram (ECG), followed by consultation with a leading cardiologist at RAK Hospital.

The Healthy Heart Screening Camp will be open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays until September 25, barring the Eid holiday weekend.

“With the forthcoming World Heart Day on September 29, we felt it was time people focused on their cardiac health,” said Dr Raza Seddiqi, CEO Arabian Healthcare Group and executive director of RAK Hospital. “Our main aim o is to draw the public’s attention towards other diseases such as obesity, diabetes, stress and blood pressure that are precursors of heart diseases, and to nip these in the bud that will actually save hundreds of lives.”

He added “We are running an intensive drive focusing on educating the public on the different aspects of cardiac-related issues. For example, as part of this campaign which runs until the end of September, we are also offering a zero-profit intensive heart screening package for just Dh399, which would ordinarily cost Dh2,750. We hope to reach out to as many people as possible with the belief that every little contribution counts towards creating a healthier population,”

Recent studies in the UAE have unearthed alarming facts related to cardiac health of the country’s residents. According to this year’s news reports, heart disease stands as the second biggest cause of death among women after cancer.

Moreover, due to a rise in obesity — almost one-third of the UAE school-going population is overweight — doctors are seeing an increasing number of young people suffering from heart-related diseases. Around one-fourth of the deaths are caused by heart attack, reports add.

Dr Mukesh Nathani, senior specialist and Head of Cardiology Department, RAK Hospital, said: “A fast-paced lifestyle, lack of physical activity, smoking, and constant exposure to stress are a few of the biggest reasons behind the increase in the rate of heart disease. To top it all, we have not realised the importance of regular screening that can actually be a forewarning and help put us on the right track of a healthier lifestyle. While such camps are useful for all, they are particularly significant for people suffering from medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Regular screening is all the more important after the age of 40 in people who have these risk factors.”

Visitors can make appointments from 9am-9pm and 9am-5pm at Al Ghalilah and Al Hamra Medical centres respectively. Patients are also advised to carry their previous prescriptions and medical records. For more information contact 07 207 4444.