Heart of the Nation Challenge
One of the key objectives of the Back to Rhythm campaign, is to rally South Africans to participate in the stationary bike challenges taking place during March and April 2019, in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Across these 12 (twelve) activations, participants need to bike for 10-minutes at a time to complete a total of 4,400 kilometers – the distance required to create a digital heartbeat from Cape Town to Johannesburg and back. For a minimum of 367 km cycled at every location, Philips will donate one HeartStart AED to HSFSA, up to a maximum of 25 for the total distance of 4,400 km.
“80% of premature deaths before the age of 60 can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle,” says Professor Pamela Naidoo, CEO of the HSFSA. “This is why we want South Africans to be mindful of their lifestyle choices and aware of the impact those choices have on heart health. By reinforcing good habits, like getting active and eating balanced meals, we aim to firstly prevent future incidence of heart disease, and secondly educate South Africans on how to save a life in the unfortunate event that preventative measures were not effective often due to over-riding genetic factors.”
To empower the public, the HSFSA is on site at each cycling challenge providing CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation), BLS (Basic Life Support) and AED resuscitation training to all participants to teach them the skills needed to save a life – especially in the case of SCA.
“It is important that we reduce the strain highly preventable conditions such as heart disease places on our nation’s health,” says Yogan Pillay, Deputy Director-General, National Department of Health. “By participating here today, we hope to trigger a trickle-down effect that will see our staff and their families take up the challenge to adapt healthier lifestyles, and in turn inspire communities throughout South Africa to bring South Africa’s heartbeat back to rhythm, together.”