A new health weapon in county’s armory

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The opening statement on the Heart Disease & Stroke page on the Mississippi Department of Health’s web site is disheartening:

“Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the leading cause of death in Mississippi, accounting for over a third of all deaths in the state. Mississippi’s CVD mortality rate remains the highest in the nation.”

That’s a good summary of all the information that follows on the web site, including facts such as Mississippi ranks near the top in the nation for obesity and diabetes, contributing factors to cardiovascular disease, and ranks 44th in the percentage of adults who smoke, another contributing factor to cardiovascular disease.

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The Miss. Dept. of Health, in ranking the counties for heart disease, with 1 being the worst and 82 being the best, ranked Pearl River County as 60th. These rankings are a year or two old because it takes a while to collect and analyze the data, but they change little from year to year.

Here in Pearl River County we now have a new weapon to battle cardiovascular disease. The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation has awarded Manna Ministries a grant of nearly $153,000 to battle the disease in Pearl River County and surrounding Mississippi counties and Louisiana parishes.

However, as one of the speakers at the announcement put it, “It’s all in the person and what they want to receive from something like this.”

Another speaker reminded us, “Most of us consider life our greatest gift … (but) if we don’t have a healthy heart, that gift is meaningless.”

We thank AstraZeneca foundation for the grant to Manna Ministries and look forward to the inroads it makes in battling this deadly disease.