Cardiovascular diseases are one of the major health problems throughout the world. It is emerging as a serious health problem in Bangladesh and other developing countries. Amongst the heart diseases hypertension, rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart diseases, ischaemic heart diseases and congenital heart diseases are common. There is a common belief that heart disease is a disease of rich people, which is not correct.
Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart diseases commonly affects poor people living in over crowding and poverty. Congenital heart diseases and hypertension can affect both rich and poor people. Poor people are not immune from Ischaemic heart disease. Latest survey on Cardiovascular diseases carried out in Bangladesh showed prevalence of Hypertension in adult population about 20-25%, Ischaemic Heart Disease in adult population about 10%, Rheumatic Heart Disease 1.2 per thousand and Congenital Heart Disease 8 per thousand new born baby.
The gigantic problem of cardiovascular diseases cannot be solved by Government alone. For effective prevention and control of cardiovascular disease National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh was formed at the initiative of National Professor Brig. (Rtd.) Abdul Malik with some dedicated medical and non-medical social workers on 12 October 1978 to supplement the activities of the Government. It is a non government non profit organization, has been registered under the societies registration Act XXI of 1960 and department of Social Welfare (Registration no.-Dha-0732), Govt. of Bangladesh and NGO Bureau, Govt. of Bangladesh.
It has also become the member of World Heart Federation (WHF) an international organization, head quarter in Geneva. World Health Organization (WHO) is also supporting the various activities of this organization. It is also member of World Hypertension League (WHL).