A new monthly feature, our Member of the Month profiles the amazing achievements of World Heart Federation Members across the globe.
Billion Hearts Beating Foundation (BHB) is a not-for-profit organization that came into existence on 28 April 2010. Working to increase awareness and prevention of heart disease and its contributing risk factors in India, BHB is an ongoing initiative of the Apollo Hospitals to make every Indian pledge to have a healthier heart.
We spoke to Dr Ravneet Singh, Chief Operating Officer, to find out more about BHB and its programmes, and the organization's membership of the World Heart Federation...
BHB solutions and outreach
"To combat the core issues pertaining to heart disease through a sustained programme of action and awareness, BHB has identified five simple solutions: Eat Healthy, Get Active, Quit Smoking, Beat Stress and Get a Regular Heart Check.
"BHB reaches out to various sections of the society through: free health checks, the Old Age Home Adoption Programme, Basic Life support training for youth and for corporates, the School of Heart Programme for underprivileged children, and various on-ground events and digital media campaigns. Particularly successful has been the staggering growth of our online community to engage in consistent, meaningful dialogues on heart health - we have a fan base of over 463,000 people on Facebook!"
BHB's flagship programmes
"A healthy community starts with healthy children. To ensure a heart-healthy future of India and reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) related deaths in the country; we know how important it is to determine that our next generations become healthy. And when it comes to heart health, inculcating good daily eating habits and spreading awareness from an early age goes a long way. For this reason, BHB has initiated the year-long School of Heart Programme for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, being conducted at various Government and NGO schools.
"As a part of the programme, BHB organizes comprehensive health checks, awareness workshops and healthcare amenities distribution drives for children. The programme in particular aims to addresses the problem of unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, poor healthcare and hygiene.
"In addition is BHB's Old Age Home Adoption Programme. The number of elderly persons in India has increased from 19.8 million in 1951 to 76 million in 2001, and projections indicate that the number of people above the age of 60 will increase to 198 million in 2030. [Source: Government of India, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.]
"In the absence of proper medical aid and social security the elderly are facing many issues. So in an effort to address these issues, BHB has identified 22 old age homes in Delhi NCR where regular health checks are conducted, including ECGs, blood sugar, blood pressure, bone density and consultation with cardiologists and physicians. Also, based on their medical prescription, residents of these facilities are provided medicines free of cost on a monthly basis."
BHB on World Heart Federation membership
"BHB is very pleased to be associated with the World Heart Federation; membership adds credibility to our brand and helps us to scale our existing programmes and introduce new programmes to create awareness about cardiovascular disease."
To find out more about the Billion Hearts Beating, visit their website billionheartsbeating.com.
With special thanks to Deepika Sharma, Senior Manager, for her help with this article.
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