During the past six years, Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) has designed a number of interventions to address the growing prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCD) in the region. The interventions were aimed at improving lifestyle and reducing the incidence of risk factors and prevalence of CNCD and their related mortality and morbidity. The interventions were conducted within ten projects based on healthy nutrition, physical activity and exercise, tobacco control and stress management.
Isfahanwas recognized as the Iran's second most polluted city second to Tehran two years ago, hence the IHHP entered into negotiation with Isfahan Province Governorate and the Environment Protection Organization (EPO). Air pollution is thought of a possible risk factor for the development or exacerbation of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, psychological diseases and/or CNCD. Although air pollution does not have an established effect similar to dyslipidemia or hypertension, it can presumably affect public health as it affects the entire community. Following several meetings, a number of interventions were designed by IHHP and Isfahan Province EPO under the title of the "Comprehensive Program for Air Pollution Control" for controlling air pollution. One of the interventions of this program is organizing "air pollution control maneuvers" through educating the public to promote understanding of the possible role of air pollution in disease conditions, ways of combating air pollution and the importance of community behaviors in air pollution control. A certain day was designated for conducting the maneuver and the Maneuver Coordination Headquarters was formed with the participation of Isfahan Province Governorate, Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, the EPO, Isfahan Radio and Television Service (IRIB), Isfahan Province Meteorology Organization, Isfahan Province Health Center, Isfahan Province Physical Education Department, and Non-Governmental Organizations. The Headquarters designated April 19, 2008 as the maneuver day. A scientific and an operational committee were established. IHHP and the EPO assumed the responsibilities of running the scientific and operational committees, respectively. The scientific committee began developing educational materials for the entire community and at-risk individuals, including patients, children, infants, and the elderly. It also began planning to evaluate the effect of the maneuvers on the awareness and performance of the community in dealing with air pollution, and developed an operational protocol for the Comprehensive Program for Air Pollution Control. The operational committee assumed the responsibility of running the maneuver. Among the programs included in the maneuver were public education by Radio and Television, setting up health stations in the city, educating kindergarten instructors and school teachers, retired and working employees, at-risk individuals, and organizing seminars for physicians. The maneuver will be held in Isfahan in the presence of the country's Vice-President and Director of Iran EPO. All offices, schools and kindergartens, as well as the entire community will participate in the maneuver. If the evaluation demonstrates that the interventions have a desirable influence, the maneuver will be held as a yearly event on a given date. The results will be submitted to national bodies, including the EPO and the Interior Ministry, to be considered for implementation as a nationwide landmark day.
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