Strengthen Families

Health Webinar Empowers Women and Families in Paraguay

Wairimu Mwangi
June 30, 2023

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. These diseases affect the heart and blood vessels, such as rheumatic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure, heart attack, coronary heart disease, etc. People rarely understand the causes, symptoms, and management and treatment of CVD-related health issues, which puts them and their health at a higher risk.

In June 2023, Global Peace Women (GPW) Paraguay held an online training moderated by their national director, Maria Ester Jimenez, in which the main speaker, Dr. Victoria Chaparro, a cardiology specialist, discussed cardiovascular health.

Providing essential health education through webinars like this one is an important component of empowering women and families to maintain the strength and energy to contribute to peaceful societies.

Mentioning stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, and hypertension as some of the conditions related to the cardiovascular system, Dr. Chaparro explained the causes of most of those cardiovascular diseases as:

· Bad eating habits

· Sedentary lifestyle

· Obesity

· Alcohol and tobacco consumption

Dr. Chaparro pointed out that high-calorie diets, fats, and sugar put individuals at high risk of developing cerebrovascular disease. She shared that the effects of the risk factors usually manifest as high blood pressure, raised blood glucose levels, elevated blood lipids, and being overweight and obese. She prompted the participants to endeavor to include fruits and vegetables as part of their daily diet. She also encouraged them to drink water as she mentioned it increases metabolism and aids digestion. She added that engaging in physical activities such as taking walks and other forms of exercise go a long way in ensuring factors leading to cardiovascular diseases, like high cholesterol levels, are kept in check.

Not taking care of one’s cardiovascular health predisposes individuals to other diseases like kidney failure, cancer, and respiratory disorders. Dr. Chaparro reminded the participants to live healthy lifestyles, mind their diet, reduce salt intake, and avoid alcohol and tobacco use. She further encouraged participants to visit primary healthcare facilities for check-ups to monitor their health status.

“Checking blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, and one's weight can help navigate and mitigate risk factors related to cardiovascular health,” she added.

Learn more about GPW’s webinars and sign up for newsletters to get the latest on women’s leadership in peacebuilding around the world.