HEART DISEASE: Finnish Health Project a `Shining Example'
WALES could implement a revolutionary health project which saw deaths from heart disease reduced by 75pc in Finland.
Following a visit to the country earlier this year, Health Minister Jane Hutt says the North Karelia project is a ``shining example'' of a local health project which has delivered stunning results.
In a report, she says the visit triggered thoughts on a number of issues, in particular heart disease, Wales's biggest killer.
The North Karelia area in East Finland, one of its poorer areas and in receipt of Objective One support, is home to about 170,000 people.
Ms Hutt said, ``It is a shining example of what people can do if they put their mind to it.''
Launched in 1972, the project was the direct result of pressure from local people who petitioned politicians and community leaders for urgent action to reduce the exceptionally high death rates from heart disease.
A wide range of action followed to persuade and help people to take steps to improve their health.
``By 1995, the annual death rate from heart disease in people of working age in the area had fallen by 75pc compared with that before the project,'' Ms Hutt said. …