Launching of the National Awareness Campaign on Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Youth

Posted on 4/1/2019

On Thursday, March 28, 2019, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in collaboration with CHAMPS Fund at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) launched the National Awareness Campaign on sudden cardiac arrest in youth for the second year.

The ceremony was held at the MoPH, and it was attended by His Excellency (HE) Dr. Jamil Jabak (Minister of Public Health), HE Dr. Bilal Abdallah (member of the parliament and the parliamentarian health affairs committee), Dr. Walid Ammar (Director General- MoPH), Dr. Fadi Bitar (Executive Director, External Medical Affairs representing Dr. Mohamad H. Sayegh, EVP for Medicine and Global Strategy), Dr. Mazen Kobeissi (Head of the Schools’ Sports Education, representing the Director General of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education), Mr. Mohamad Oueidat (Head of the Sports Department- representing the Director of the Ministry of Youth and Sports), Mr. Hassan Ammar (Director of the Minister of Health Office), Mr. Mohamad Mahdi Ayyad (the media consultant for the Minister of Public Health), Dr. Samir Arnaout (representing President of the Lebanese Order of Physicians), Mrs. Nathalie Richa (Director of the Lebanese Order of Nurses), Dr. Joseph Helou (Head of the Medical Care Department- MoPH), Dr. Randa Hamadeh (Head of the Social Health Services and the Primary Health Care Department, MoPH), Mrs. Zehra Al-Hilali (Regional Director-MENA, American Heart Association), General Hassan Rostoum (Secretary General of the Olympic Committee), Mr. Charbel Aidamouni (representing the Lebanese Red Cross), Mr. Khaled Kaskas (Representative of Civil NGOs), Dr. Mona Osman (Assistant Professor of Family Medicine AUBMC and Founder of CHAMPS Fund), Dr. Bahij Arbid, Representatives of UNICEF and other international organizations, representatives of the Primary Healthcare Centers, the Ministry of Public Health, AUBMC and other invitees.

The Minister announced the launching of the campaign and called for the necessity to raise awareness on sudden cardiac arrest in youth especially young athletes and the necessity to have automated external defibrillators (AED) in public places in Lebanon. He also announced that the MoPH will be collaborating with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) and the Ministry of Youth & Sports (MYS) to protect the lives of young people from sudden cardiac arrest. He explained the recommendations that he sent to both ministers and that he and the MoPH will be following up on. This includes the following:
  • Ministry of Education & Higher Education: to make cardiac screening mandatory to students enrolled in school varsity teams, make AEDs mandatory in schools and universities, and integrate the training of students on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in schools.
  • Ministry of Youth & Sports: to make cardiac screening mandatory to all professional athletes and university students enrolled in varsity teams, make AEDs mandatory in sports fields and health clubs/gyms, and make CPR training mandatory for coaches.

Dr. Mona Osman described the details of the campaign which will include in addition to the collaboration with the different ministries on the above items, holding awareness campaigns on sudden cardiac arrest in different geographical areas in Lebanon in collaboration with 50 Primary Healthcare Centers, conducting cardiac screening to young people aged 12-35 years and organizing training sessions on CPR and the use of AEDs, as well as integrating the early detection of heart diseases in young athletes in primary healthcare centers.

The initiative presented collaboration among all members of the society, governmental or non-governmental, civil society, and academicians to protect the lives of our youth and keep their hearts alive تتبقى قلوبكم تنبض بالحياة​
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