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The All India Heart Foundation (AIHF) can proudly claim to be one of the first societies of its kind to be founded in Asia. It was formed by a group of physicians (led by Dr. S. Padmavati) and industrialists (Late Mr. Ashok Jain of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd) at the inspiration of the doyen of modern cardiology, the late Dr. Paul Dudley White and registered as a charitable society in 1962. Its membership is open not only to specialists in cardiology but also to all doctors and laymen.

The National Heart Institute (NHI) is an integral part of the foundation's research and clinical care delivery programmes and was established in 1981.

The affairs of the foundation are managed by a “Board of Directors” who collectively form the governing body. The members are eminent doctors, legal experts, philanthropists, scientists, bureaucrats, auditors, financial analysts and administrators of high standing. In keeping with its all-India character, it has branches in other parts of the country.
The main objectives of the Foundation are scientific research in the area of cardiology in all of its various aspects, stimulation and development of heart care through public health education, training of doctors and paramedical personnel, improving diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, development of national educational programmes to control all types of heart diseases and treatment of heart patients. Rheumatic Fever (RF) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD), the most important cause of heart disease in children and young adults, have been the subject of study since 1966. A model registry for RF/RHD has been created and maintained for follow-up since 1977.
The AIHF has carried on public health activities since its inception. It publishes its own Newsletter, “HEART NEWS” since 1962 without break. Blood pressure, cardiovascular risk factors like obesity, smoking, high blood lipids, physical inactivity, diabetes, stress etc. are equally important. The foundation has been regularly featuring articles on these aspects in its bulletins. The organization has also brought out several brochures relating to heart diseases for the use of laymen. A book on "Heart Disease and the Layman" by Dr. S. Padmavati was published in English by the National Book Trust of India in its Popular Science series and translated into Tamil, Hindi, Urdu, Gurmukhi and Marathi. Lectures, radio talks and television programmes on many aspects of heart disease are given by the directors and other senior members of the foundation throughout the year in English and regional languages in Delhi and elsewhere.
The AIHF is the only heart foundation in India affiliated to the “World Heart Federation”, which is an international body for coordinating heart societies and foundations throughout the world. Thus it has links with other national heart foundations throughout the world for exchange of information and knowledge so that it could be disseminated for the benefit of professionals and laity, alike, in the country. It is recognized as a collaborative centre of “WHO” in preventive cardiology since 1980, the only one in the SEARO region. It is a member of the World Hypertension League and Heart Beat International.
National Heart Institute celebrates World Heart Day on 29th September, World Diabetes Day on 14th November, World Health Day on 7th April, World Hypertension Day on 17th May and World No–Tobacco Day on 31st May, every year. In all these functions a large number of individuals from the public are examined by our Consultants, investigations done and advice regarding preventive aspects like proper diet, exercise and other lifestyle modifications is given. Exhibition on preventive health care and screening of health education film is also done. National Heart Institute caters to outdoor consultation, education and counselling on Diabetes, obesity, cholesterol related diseases, thyroid disorders, alcohol and smoking. Indoor care for Diabetes & Lifestyle disorders is also taken care of.
We have conducted over 25 free heart check-up camps in Delhi and nearby states of U.P., Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Uttarakhand etc. in the last one year and on an average 150 patients were seen and given advice in each of these free camps. Heart Camps are organised in suburban towns and rural areas around Delhi with the help of Rotary and Lions Clubs. In these camps patients are examined and treatment prescribed by a specialist team of 2 or 3 doctors. These camps provide an opportunity for community education using audio-visual aids. Many poor patients have a cardiac check-up for the first time and are able to avail of proper treatment and surgery if required.

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