Campaign warns about usage of salt

At your service on Friday March 8 at the Salt Awareness Campaign will be Philani Nutrition Centre staff from left, Sizeka Mjamba, Noziphiwo Masiko, Thandiswa Mhe and Nomzamo Matodlana, Philani Centres programme manager.

The Khayelitsha-based Philani Nutrition Centre, Vukani and Health and Stroke Foundation SA have teamed up to raise awareness about health matters and will be hosting a salt awareness campaign next week.

It takes place at the Philani Early Childhood Centre, in Njongo Avenue, Site C, on Friday March 8, from 10am and 1pm and will also include nutrition and physical activity education; and diabetes and blood pressure testing, among others.

With Salt Awareness Week being marked from Monday to Sunday March 4 to 10, the campaign aims to enlighten the community about the dangers of consuming too much salt.

The centre’s programme manager, Nomzamo Matodlana, said her organisation dealt primarily with maternal and child health and had noticed an increase in the number of children with high blood pressure-which is often more common among adults.

Ms Matodlana said Philani cared for a total of about 8 000 clients in Khayelitsha, Mitchell’s Plain, Crossroads and surrounding areas. Among those assisted by the nutrition centre are 377 malnourished, and underweight children who are seen by the centre’s doctor and or professional nurse. “It is a worry that we still have malnourished children.

“This prevalence in malnutrition also leads to high blood pressure.

“People are using more salt and in the process we are getting more children with high blood pressure. Our priority is bringing services to the front door of the people who need it the most.

“We have to account for an integrated service package of care,” she said. She said she was pleased that the centre was part of the campaign and that raising awareness was important because living with undiagnosed high blood pressure risk put many at a higher risk of suffering heart attack.

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.”Our community newspapers -which reach hundreds of thousands of households every week – are a powerful platform for educating communities about health and wellness matters and helping to build a healthier society.

“We invite readers to support the campaign and empower themselves with the knowledge that will help them improve their health,” she said. For more information, call Deborah on 021 488 4160