The launch of the Namibia Heart Foundation (NHF) was held on 30 August 2019, in Windhoek. The launch of the NGO was sponsored by Capricorn Group and its flagship brand Bank Windhoek, along with Ogilvy, First National Bank, Standard Bank, StaticGrid, Dr Ludwig Walters and Pick n Pay who also contributed to the event; all in efforts to create awareness about heart diseases and their associated risks. Over 80 guests gathered together to endorse and support this great cause, including the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula; along with cardiologists, dieticians, corporates, NGO’s, Miss Namibia 2019 Nadja Breytenbach and the general public.
The Namibia Heart Foundation (NHF) was explicitly established in March 2019 to educate Namibians on diverse heart-related illnesses and complement the good work of those who have dedicated their hard work towards creating awareness of heart diseases and its associated risks. With volunteers around the country, the foundation further aims to create an inclusive, safe and empowered community for individuals suffering from cardiac diseases and strokes by helping, guiding and supporting them and their families.
Cardiovascular diseases are prevalent in Namibia, contributing up to 30 percent of the total deaths in the country. Although the medical and allied professions, government and private hospitals, medical aid and insurance sector, and others do their utmost to educate Namibians on preventative and early diagnostic measures, much more needs to be done. This difficult path can become a lonely place for sufferers as they deal with the after-effects of a heart attack, which could include sadness, anger, anxiety, guilt, confusion or stress. Therefore, the road to recovery is more than just regular exercise and healthy eating but also includes mental support to help sufferers become holistically healthy again.
“Anyone can recover from a heart attack with a healthy emotional & physical lifestyle,” said Mr Gerhard De Koe,” the founder of the Foundation. Mr De Koe testified that his personal experience with heart surgery left him with a lot of emotional and physical needs at the time, which prompted him to stand up and be the voice for many other Namibians who are facing the same dilemmas during the process and its procedures.
Capricorn Group and its subsidiary Bank Windhoek reported that they support their statements of being Connectors of Positive Change, by planting seeds that will grow into sustainable change. Supporting the Namibia Heart Foundation is one such an example. “We are proud to be part of this movement, which the group believes will make a positive impact on the lives of the patients and their families,” said Mr Thinus Prinsloo, Capricorn Group CEO.
The Namibian Heart Foundation stated that they desire to take hands with the Namibian community and all role players to create a healthier and happier nation to ensure that our country advances in this regard. “Together with the support and various contributions of stakeholders, we can make a difference,” said Mr De Koe, as he spoke at the function lobbying for more funds to ensure the success of the NGO.