Health Minister Dr Mariyam Shakeela inaugurated a three-day medical camp offering free treatment for heart diseases in the capital Malé on Saturday (August 9).
The medical camp with Dr Vivek Gupta, a specialist from the Asiri Surgical Hospital in Sri Lanka, is taking place at the Dhamana Veshi urban primary health centre in the Thalassemia centre on Majeedhee Magu.
The camp was jointly organised by government-run Dhamana Veshi and the Corona Sunrise International Pvt Ltd security firm.
Speaking at an opening ceremony, Dr Shakeela reportedly said that treatment of heart diseases was a “major challenge” facing the Maldives.
Two patients selected at the camp would be offered free treatment at the Asiri Surgical Hospital funded by Sunrise Corona, she added.
The health minister noted that the Maldives has the highest incidence of fatalities from non-contagious diseases in the South Asia region.
According to the health ministry, a survey conducted by the World Health Organisation from 2004 to 2012 found that 47 percent of Maldivians were overweight and 18.8 percent were smokers.
The most common heart diseases in the Maldives include blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, ischemic heart disease, and myocardial infarction or heart attacks.