Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo has encouraged women to adopt healthy living lifestyles.
She visited the Langa Methodist Church Women’s Manyano-a group of women in the religious fraternity-on Wednesday April 5 to mark World Health Day, which was celebrated on Friday April 7.
World Health Day has been set aside by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to create awareness around the importance of physical activity in overall health and wellness.
Addressing the group, Dr Mbombo said it was vital for people, especially women, to adopt a more active lifestyle and fun family activities such as walks and morning exercises.
She also encouraged women to prepare healthy meals and eat better, urging women to cut down on their fat and salt intake.
“The aim is to encourage women to be more active.
“We came to this church because most women attend church.
“We are committed to educating women on how to prevent, reduce and strengthen the control of non-communicable diseases through better self-management of healthy lifestyles at a community level. We put emphasis on the food people should eat.
“Exercises and eating fruit is very important,” said Dr Mbombo.
She added that her department had taken a conscious decision to focus on promoting wellness and preventing illnesses.
“This is why we are conducting health screenings in our communities.
“It is important to raise awareness and empower active citizens to make informed decisions about their health,” she said.
Dr Mbombo said training was important to curb diseases, singling out diabetes as a danger to society.
She said according to 2015 statistics, diabetes was number one cause of death in the province.
“Diabetes is a problem. Unlike some other non-communicable diseases, it does not only rely on the provision of chronic medication, but needs active lifestyle modification such as weight management, diet, non-smoking and less consumption of alcohol.
“That is why we are screening women for diabetes so that they can be advised on how to better manage and prevent this lifestyle disease. It needs them to change their lifestyle and live a healthy lifestyle,” she said.
Dr Mbombo called on women to form clubs and join the newly established Western Cape on Wellness (WoW) project.
Through the project, Dr Mbombo said, her department aimed to fight obesity, improve blood pressure and hypertension.
They planned to expanded the project to Gugulethu and Nyanga, Saldanha and Khayelitsha.
She added that her department would travel to every corner of the province to preach the wellness gospel.
She said to achieve better health outcomes, they needed to reach out to communities and promote healthy lifestyles.
Sister Winnie Nonkonyana, St John Community Health Service co-ordinator, said she was happy with Dr Mbombo’s visit.
She said the visit was proof that the department was serious about people.
Ms Nonkonyana said they encouraged seniors, in particular, to live a healthy lifestyle by exercising and being part of clubs.
She said Langa was in the process of establishing senior clubs. “We have eight clubs now.
“They exercise. Some of our carers visit them now and then.
“We are looking at longevity. We want to see people live more,” she said.
Senior citizen Joyce Mawu advised seniors to regularly visit clinics and to check their health.