The Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Coordination of the Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) invited The Heart Fund (THF) to attend the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, convened by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in Istanbul, Turkey. THF seized this privileged opportunity to address the specific issue of cardiovascular diseases in developing countries for the vulnerable populations, particularly in Haiti.
Istanbul, Turkey - 25 May 2016 - Hundreds of world leaders have gathered in Istanbul for the opening of the first World Humanitarian Summit, organized by the United Nations Office for the Humanitarian Coordination (OCHA). The founder of The Heart Fund, Dr David Luu, surgeon and cardiovascular diseases expert, was invited to address the specific issue of non-communicable diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases.
The Global Health Special Session chaired by 4th President of Tanzania - Hon. Jakaya Kikwete - and moderated by Professor Mukesh Kapila - Special Adviser of the World Humanitarian Summit - was titled "Public Health should be at the center of collective humanitarian action".
Representing the Americas and Caribbean region, the Minister of Public Health of Haiti - Dr. Daphnee Benoit-Delsol - announced that cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, should be considered as top priorities for Haiti and the developing world.
Dr David Luu stated: "Cardiovascular disease is a silent killer of the most vulnerable people and represents a double burden from every country. It is major public health and economical concern that has to be addressed at the highest international level".
Golden Globe-nominated actress Ashley Judd, UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, also intervened mentioning that pregnant women should have a priority access to diagnosis and treatment. In attendance of this Special Session was also HRH Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan who stressed the need of investing in children health.
As a result of the World Humanitarian Summit, The Heart Fund will continue its contribution to build a global coalition involving public and private sectors, media, international agencies and NGOs to implement sustainable, cost-efficient and impacting solutions to fight a growing threat to the population. Haiti will host a series of national activities - including high-level visits and conferences - to experiment innovative and more efficient efforts to tackle the invisible pandemic of cardio-vascular diseases.
This must be a shared global endeavour that requires concret core commitments that will:
1. Provide access to an essential health package for crisis-affected people
2. Promote better health outcomes and accountability in emergencies
3. Prepare for and respond effectively to infectious hazards and outbreaks
4. Prevent attacks and protect healthcare delivery
5. Provide flexible and equitable multi-year resourcing for securing health in crises
In coordination with OCHA and other partners, The Heart Fund will follow the WHS with field-based actions - with the support of Ambassador-at-large Jimmy Jean-Louis and other key partners and celebrities - to innovate solutions to improve cardiovascular health in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean sub-region.
ABOUT THE HEART FUND:
The Heart Fund to fight Cardiovascular Diseases is an international non-profit organisation investing in innovative and sustainable solutions to provide cardiac care to the most vulnerable population from screening to live-saving open-heart surgery.