Name of the activity: Heart for Life
Country/NMO: BeMSA Belgium
Program: Healthy Lifestyles & Non-Communicable Diseases
Contact information: contact [email protected] to get in touch with the Activity Coordinator
Type of the activity: Continuous Activity
Focus area: Cardiovascular Disease
Sustainable Development Goals addressed: SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 17 (Partnerships)
Every year we organise Heart for Life, a campaign about cardiovascular health. We aim to inform people about their personal cardiovascular risk and how to reduce it.
Medical students go out in public to offer more information about cardiovascular disease and its risk factors to the general public. If someone is interested they can have several parameters assessed. Students will then discuss their other risk factors. With this information the person’s cardiovascular risk is estimated
Cardiovascular disease remains the primary cause of death for adults in Belgium, making
cardiovascular health an important public health concern. Through the prevention campaign of our government most people do associate blood pressure, little physical activity and other factors with cardiovascular disease. However according to Sciensano, a research and data collecting group for the belgian institute of health, most belgians are not aware of their personal risk factors.
- General population
- Medical students
- General population
- Medical students
- Other health professionals
Every academic year we organise Heart for Life events in 8 major cities all over Belgium.
We screen 1500 local adults for their cardiovascular risk using our standardised screening procedure during the full. (see methodology)
In total 350 medical students volunteer at Heart for Life events.
After a Heart for Life event participants intend to undertake positive lifestyle changes.
After a Heart for Life event the volunteering medical students feel like they improved their communicative and instrumental skills
Using the SCORE2 table
Operating cholesterol devices and blood pressure monitors
*In Belgium an academic year is when students are on campus (from September until June)
Every academic year we organise Heart for Life events in at least 8 major cities in Belgium.
We screen at least 1500 participants for their cardiovascular risk.
At least 350 students volunteer at Heart for Life events.
30% of participants report in our survey that they intend to undertake positive lifestyle changes after a Heart for Life event.
65% of volunteers report in our survey that they feel like they improved their communicative and instrumental skills after a Heart for Life event.
1:We made a needs assessment based on the Belgian Health Survey of 2018. 2:Following the IFMSA structure, 1NPO,1LPOs and13 Heart for Life Project Managers were elected. 3:The NPO and LPOs wrote a script with specific guidelines based on the publications of The European Society of Cardiology and recommendations of the Health Authorities. We decided to make a standardised screening procedure. We determined what risk factors should be addressed and measured based on the INTERHEART study. We decided to use the SCORE 2 table, BMI and waist circumference for our risk assessment. We also decided to host all events in November and together with the external representation team we designed a national image.4:Meanwhile project managers for each city went looking for a central and accessible location for their event. Every local committee formed their own local working groups. 5:Facebook chats were formed with all cities to tackle any issues as soon as possible.6:Evaluation
Plans for evaluation:
We conducted an evaluation on 3 levels.
Level 1: participants were motivated to fill out a paper or online survey containing questions on their experience and knowledge. The survey was either a Google Form or paper form, the questions were formed by national and local officials.
Level 2: students that volunteered at the event were encouraged to fill out a survey online rating their experience. The survey was a Google Form, the questions were formed by national and local officials.
Level 3: personal feedback meetings were held with the LPO and Project Managers of all Local Committees. The NPO made a Written Meeting Report.
Local universities, the Healthy Heart Fund, local dieticians, local sports coaches, local cardiologists, local GPs, local tabacologists, La Roche (Cholesterol Devices), Omron (Blood Pressure Devices), Tabakstop (Posters about smoking), Gezond Leven (Posters about Healthy Diet and Exercise) and Cardiologia (Posters on general cardiovascular health)