Campaign tackles dangers of salt usage

Philani Nutrition Centre staffers wooing people and residents of Site C to get tested.

Nearly 150 people flocked to Site C to get their health checked on Friday March 8, when the Khayelitsha-based Philani Nutrition Centre, Vukani and the heart and Stroke Foundation SA teamed up to raise awareness about health matters.

The Salt Awareness Week campaign took place at the Philani Nutrition centre, in Njongo Avenue, Site C, where nutrition and physical activity education; and diabetes and blood pressure testing, among others, were being offered

Residents who spoke to Vukani said they were happy to have services brought to them.

Thembalabantu Maduka, 58, said it was the first time he had heard some of the facts shared about salt and its effects and other health advice given on the day.

Among these tips was that people could use lemon juice to enhance the flavour of their meals, rather than loading it with salt – and each person who got tested, went home with a lemon.

“We are in the dark about diseases caused by salt. I was really clueless,” he said. Nosiphiwo Madolo, 35, who was among those who came to get her health checked, also commended the organisers for bringing services to the people, adding that often these services were inaccessible to older people, in particular.

“I have made testing my hobby,” she told Vukani.

“I believe at my age that there are sicknesses that I must check up on them.

“But I must say senior people in our areas need more help. You cannot expect them to walk far for tests.

“Services like these should always be always available to them,” she said.

Vukani’s marketing and brand officer Deborah Monisi said she was happy that the community of Site C had had an opportunity to do health screenings right on their doorstep.

She said blood pressure and diabetes testing had been done by nurses from Nolungile Clinic and that a few people whose blood pressure was found to be very high, had been referred to the clinic. 

Chantel Erfort, editor of Cape Community Newspapers (CCN), which publishes Vukani and its 14 sister titles, said the salt awareness campaign was the first of many social social outreach campaigns CCN would be rolling out, with a focus on health, and working with local organisations and businesses.