Event Review: National Heart Week/World Heart Day 2020

Unprecedented times call for unconventional ideas! Over four decades, Singapore Heart Foundation has held the annual National Heart Week/World Heart Day (NHW/ WHD) event physically in the heartlands, but the COVID-19 pandemic has been a game-changer. This year, for the first time, this signature event is held entirely online!

Launch of the interactive NHW/WHD 2020 virtual event microsite
Over two days on 3 and 4 Oct 2020, SHF put out a series of hearty content for the NHW/WHD 2020 virtual event at www.nhwwhdvirtual.sg, attracting more than 6,700 unique visitors and 28,000 page views in a month.

In line with the World Heart Federation’s 2020 global campaign theme “Use Heart”, the homepage featured an ‘event floor’ in the shape of a heart, with 10 clickable ‘booths’ that users can visit to watch health talks and cooking demos, take part in exercises, join in contests and browse for heart health information. The interactive website kept users engaged, and offered “a sense of familiarity in a fresh concept” as described by Mrs Regina Lee, Organising Committee Chairwoman of NHW/WHD 2020 Virtual.

In 2019, cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounted for 29.3% of deaths; about 17 people die from CVD every day in Singapore. With news reports showing that patients with heart disease and hypertension are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19, taking care of our hearts right now is as important than ever.

“Use heart to beat CVD. It means to understand what it takes to live a heart-healthy life and to act on that knowledge, change your behaviour for a better quality of life. It also means to motivate your loved ones to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle, as well as to care and support those vulnerable and at higher risk during this period of COVID-19,” said Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Chairman, Singapore Heart Foundation in his opening speech.

Amazing microsite. I was wondering how you will project the virtual NHW/WHD when it was announced. The concept and presentation were excellent, beyond imagination!

Dr C Sivathasan, Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Focus on hypertension and heart disease
According to Ministry of Health, nearly one in four adults between the ages 30 and 60, and more than half of those aged 60 to 69 in Singapore have high blood pressure, and hypertension can result in serious complications such as heart disease and stroke. As such, chronic disease prevention must always be made a priority and that is why hypertension was made the focus for this year’s campaign.

A series of virtual health talks by cardiologists and nutritionist were held on topics like hypertension & COVID-19, women’s heart health, and sodium & blood pressure, to educate viewers on the conditions. There were also easy cooking demonstrations and a variety of workouts suitable for different age to follow to keep hypertension at bay. These programmes were released progressively over the two days, offering new content almost every other hour.

In addition, to mark World Restart A Heart Day, which falls on 16 Oct every year, a panel discussion on hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was streamed to raise awareness on the important life-saving skill, and to address legal and safety concerns about performing chest compressions on strangers.

Viewers also engaged in a live Q&A session on Debunking Myths about Your Heart Health with Cardiologist Dr Mak Koon Hou, Senior Nutritionist Lim Kiat and Senior Physiotherapist Feng Shumin over Facebook/YouTube on 10 Oct 2020.

Thank you for rising to the challenge of COVID-19 and coming out with such a fantastic array of extremely informative and helpful programmes that we can self-serve! Thank you!

Phang Heng How

Red Light Up for NHW/WHD 2020
The night skyline of the city business district was transformed between 29 Sep and 4 Oct 2020 when 15 landmarks in the area were lit up in varying shades of red as part of the #GoRedforWHD movement.

This is in support of the global movement of illuminating iconic buildings and landmarks in red – a symbol of health, life and vibrancy, as well as a red alert i.e. warning signs and symptoms of CVD.

We would like to thank Gardens by the Bay, Ocean Financial Centre, Marina Square, One Raffles Place, Republic Plaza, Singapore Flyer, Millenia Tower & Centennial Tower, OCBC Centre, Helix Bridge, Cavenagh Bridge, Elgin Bridge, Clemenceau Bridge, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, The Fullerton Hotel and Coleman Bridge for joining us in this movement to raise awareness of Singapore’s leading cause of death.

A big thank you to all our National Heart Week/World Heart Day 2020 Virtual sponsors, partners, exhibitors and visitors who ‘turned’ up for the event. We look forward to your support next year!

Visit the National Heart Week/World Heart Day 2020 Virtual microsite here!