Galway has become the first of 40 cities across Europe to launch a new patient led awareness campaign about heart failure.
Croí Heart & Stroke charity is leading the “Acting on Heart Failure” campaign here in Galway to raise awareness of heart failure and to improve local supports for people living with it.
Heart failure is a chronic condition where the heart is unable to properly pump blood around the body because the muscle is too stiff or weak to work properly.
It’s estimated that 90,000 people in Ireland are living with heart failure and due to our aging population hospital admissions caused by it are expected to go up by half in the next 25 years.
Speaking at the campaign launch, CEO of Croí Neil Johnson said its important for them to join with other groups in Ireland and abroad to call for an improvement in services.
“Croí is delighted to lead this European Initiative. It’s time heart failure patients were heard. We are teaming up with patient organisations across the globe, including the Heartbeat Trust here in Ireland, to join the global newly unified patient voice to call for better services and care.”
Mr. Johnson claimed that heart failure has largely been ignored by governments setting healthcare policy.
“Heart Failure has been for too long a forgotten condition in health policy despite its enormous economic impact and the huge burden carried by those living with the condition. Consequently, there are huge challenges which need to be tackled.”
May is the European Heart Failure Awareness Month, and to mark it Mayors around Europe have teamed up with the International Heart Hub, an alliance of patient organisations, for this campaign.
Mayor of Galway Pearce Flannery and Cathoirleach of Galway County Council Eileen Mannion joined Mr. Johnson at the campaign launch at the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre in Newcastle last Friday.
Galway city and county are the first local authorities taking part to launch the initiative.
The “Acting on Heart Failure” campaign aims to improve public understanding of heart failure, its symptoms and how it differs from a heart attack or cardiac arrest.
It also wants to make people aware that while it’s mostly older people who develop heart failure, it can affect people of all ages.
Lastly, it seeks to improve services for diagnosing and treating heart failure early on, and provide long-term supports for patients.