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Thursday, 14 June, 2001, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Heart disease project under way
heart massage
Emergency skills are being taught to the community
A scheme has been launched in east London to combat the high number of deaths from heart disease amongst Bangladeshi men.

Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, launched the pilot project, which will teach Tower Hamlets residents how to help victims of a heart attack.

The death rate among Bangladeshi men from heart disease in the area is 85% higher than the national average.

The project is part of a national scheme for British Heart Week informing people about the importance of learning emergency life skills.

This is the first in a series of projects to get more Londoners trained up so more lives can be saved

Ken Livingstone
A community worker will be appointed toTower Hamlets to establish links with the local community and to develop training in emergency skills.

Early intervention can be crucial to a person's survival, but many people are not trained and in the Bangladeshi community they are restricted by cultural traditions.

Bangladeshi women are reluctant to give mouth-to-mouth to a man who is not their husband and the scheme will look at ways around such cultural taboos.

Skills shortage

"This is the first in a series of projects to get more Londoners trained up so more lives can be saved", Mr Livingstone said.

"In particular I want frontline staff like police officers and firefighters to have up-to-date skills."

The Red Cross and a London based medical charity, Bart's City Life Saver, are running the project in Stepney Green.

Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone: Launched scheme
According to a survey by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) almost 40% of people would not be able to carry out lifesaving techniques on someone who had suffered a heart attack.

One in 10 would simply sit and wait for the emergency services to arrive.

It estimates that only one per cent of UK people are skilled in CPR.

Training for CPR can take as little as two hours.

For more information about training, call the BHF campaign line on 0870 9090111.

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11 Jun 01 | Health
One in three 'cannot lifesave'
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