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Children mark World Heart Day

More than 4, 000 children turned up for a walk at the Moi Kasarani International Stadium as the county celebrated the World Heart Day.

A total of 65 schools, both primary and secondary learners showed up for the Saturday event.

This year, the World Heart Federation was fostering awareness about rheumatic heart  disease which mainly affects children between three to 15 years.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, the chief executive officer Kenyan Heart National Foundation, Elizabeth Gatumia said the disease was responsible for many deaths among children.

Cardiovascular diseases

It was the 10th year Kenya was taking part in the global event that aims to raise awareness about the prevention of heart diseases.

According to Ms Gatumia, cardiovascular diseases such as stroke affect people of all ages including women and children.

“Currently, heart diseases cause 17.3 million deaths every year with 80 per cent of these occurring in low and middle income countries. This makes it the world’s number one killer disease,” she said.

“A large number of these deaths, particularly in low income areas are premature and occur before the age of 70 years, taking people who are in their most productive working years,” she added.

The CEO said that Kenya was among 194 countries that made a commitment to reduce premature deaths from heart diseases by 25 per cent at the turn of 2015.