The Miracle of North Karelia: The Magic of Preventive Cardiology


  • Azhar Faruqui


The Miracle of North Karelia, The Magic of Preventive Cardiology


No one who has anything to do with Cardiology can be unaware of the North Karelia Project of Finland. Fascinated as I have been with this more than 20 years old project, it was only recently that I had a chance to see the project in action in Joensuu and surrounding districts and to review the data collected over 20 years with some of the world’s greatest living cardiovascular epidemiologists in HelsinkiWe in Pakistan became aware of this pioneering project almost fifteen years ago when we invited the project leader and his associate to conduct a workshop at the NICVD Karachi and invited all Professors of Cardiology in Pakistan to participate in it.When North Karelia realized over twenty years ago that they had the unenviable position of being the heart attack capital of the world, the cardiologists, epidemiologists, primary health workers and the government of Finland decided that they will inform the public and together do something about it. One wonders what is most important in the final analysis? Is it a group of knowledgeable, honest and totally dedicated leaders or is it an educated, enlightened, trusting and motivated population that is most important for successful outcome? Obviously, it is both. One cannot clap with one hand. One needs the other