World Heart Federation presented the Heart Hero award 2019 to Dr Ali Shafeeq and alumni of Seshadripuram Degree College (India). Heart heroes are people from all walks of life who have shown commitment, courage, empathy and care in relation to heart health.
Ali Shafeeq is a senior consultant in Cardiology and Head of Department, National Cardiac Center at the Tertiary Referral Center (Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital). He was nominated by Tiny Hearts of Maldives. Since 2010, he has been working as the only Cardiologist for the country, taking care of heart problems of all ages. “I had been taking care of all newborn and paediatric heart conditions until the country got a Paediatric Cardiologist in 2015.” He started a fetal heart screening program with the help of Tiny Hearts of Maldives. He states that Tobacco is a major risk factor in the islands, and the leading cause of the acute coronary syndromes we see in younger group.
As Dr. Ali Shafeeq says, we believe that in order to improve heart health in the Maldives, awareness needs to be created about risk factors. “Though there are smoke free zones in public areas, people who decide to smoke in these zones are not necessarily penalized.” “Businessmen have more say in regulatory matters than health professionals”