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British Heart Experts Use Cricket To Target South Asians

Britain's heart experts are hoping to exploit the passion for cricket among South Asians to launch a campaign to encourage people from the community not to delay calling// emergency help when experiencing chest pain.

Research shows that South Asians in Britain have a 40-50 per cent higher death rate from heart disease than the general population. But South Asians are known to be reluctant to seek emergency help for various reasons: doubt, embarrassment, not wanting to be a burden and preferring to 'wait and see if it gets better'.

Apart from these reasons, the BHF is worried that there are additional barriers, such as language and cultural reasons, that may put off those from South Asian communities, particularly older people, from calling 999.

The British Heart Foundation has now hired a specialist ethnic communications agency, Media Reach Advertising, to tailor the 'Doubt Kills' campaign to target Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis living in the UK.

The campaign urges people not to delay calling 999 when experiencing chest pain and includes a TV and radio advert in Hindustani and Bengali language, and print adverts in Bengali, Urdu, Gujarati and Punjabi.

The TV ads - to be shown on all major South Asian channels - feature a father and son playing cricket. The father develops chest pain and, rather than ignoring the pain or calling his wife, calls 999 immediately for help, and lives to make a good recovery.

The BHF is also organising a comprehensive grassroots outreach programme in five cities that have a high South Asian population: London, Bradford, Leicester, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Sandy Gupta, consultant cardiologist and chairman of the BHF's Strategy Committee on Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in Ethnic Minorities, said: "Most people in the UK are not good at recognising when they are having a heart attack and taking swift action by calling 999, because they too often doubt the s
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