Cardiologist, Ex Vice-President and current member of the Bolivian Society of Cardiology (Sociedad Paceña y Boliviana de Cardiología)
Since I was a medical student, I have always liked to encourage family and friends to adopt healthy lifestyles and especially to stop smoking. My love for sports is also a great motivator for a healthy life. As cardiologists, we manage diseases once they have been established, but we should also always include work on preventing diseases, and as healthcare providers we should set an example of leading a healthy life, which obviously includes avoiding tobacco consumption.
This World Heart Day is finding Bolivia at a political juncture, where a comprehensive Tobacco Control Law is currently being addressed in parliament which urgently needs to be passed, since we are the only country in South America without a law that controls and protects the health of the population from the harm of smoking. This law is very necessary to combat one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular health and the general health of the population. We hope that in the next few days, good decisions are made to protect cardiovascular health by enacting this law.
I also consider important the joint efforts of civil society, scientific society and patients, not only in Bolivia but also in all countries, to increase global awareness about the heart and cardiovascular health, both in primary healthcare prevention and in terms of introducing changes in people´s lifestyles (physical activity, healthy diet, weight control, avoid the consumption of tobacco and its smoke); and also control diseases properly with the specialist. For that reason, in addition to raising awareness among the population that come for medical consultation on a daily basis, I support the efforts and initiatives of the InterAmerican Heart Foundation of Bolivia (FIC Bolivia) for the prevention of NCDs and their risk factors.
Hopefully, World Heart Day will always be a standard for good decisions to be made at the level of cardiovascular prevention.