East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden is backing the British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland’s #backthebeat campaign to make tackling one of our biggest killers a priority after the May Assembly elections.
The MLA said: “ BHF NI is calling on Stormont to set targets to reduce premature deaths from non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic
respiratory diseases and dementia, by 25% in 2025.
“This is in line with the World Health Organisation’s challenge for member states to take action against premature mortality.
“Reform and modernisation of our health service, the implementation of strategies and a public health agenda which prevents disease are some of the steps urgently required.
“Diseases cause 13,000 deaths in Northern Ireland each year. That’s a staggering 87% of all mortality. 4,600 of deaths are people below 75 years of age. Many of these premature deaths could be avoided.
“I was pleased to attend the BHF event in Stormont this week where experts discussed the need for the next Government to meet the 2025 target. I am proud to support their Back the Beat campaign and I am behind the fight to ensure the Stormont Executive takes urgent action to meet the challenge by the WHO. If we can do this, we will save 1,150 lives per year.”
MLA Sugden went on : “Each day 12 families across Northern Ireland lose a loved one prematurely because of diseases like cancer, heart disease and dementia. Many of these are in East Londonderry.
“By working together, the next Stormont Assembly can set targets to reduce tobacco and alcohol use, salt and sugar intake, obesity, and high blood pressure. They can modernise our health system and redesign services.
“If we could meet the WHO targets, a quarter of mums, dads, husbands, wives and children would not be robbed of precious time with a much loved family member. Better patient outcomes must be at the heart of the next Programme for Government. There are too many lives lost needlessly to not address this head-on.”