Sisonke promotes healthy lifestyles

Residents, mostly seniors, packed the Gugulethu Sports Complex to have free consultations and screening with doctors and nurses.

A Gugulethu social organisation said it is committed to helping residents, especially seniors citizens, to overcome health issues which can be cured and healed without any hassle.

In recognition of the critical importance of health, Sisonke Association of Friends and the University of Cape Town medical department launched an integrated health and wellness programme at the Gugulethu Sports Complex.

The organisation said the programme was designed to improve overall health and wellness throughout the townships. At the packed hall on Thursday March 28, young and old had a chance to be screened and if found to be sick, referred to a clinic or hospital.

The event was held after Sisonke realised that many people were dying from illnesses that could have been treated or prevented.

Spokesman Lungisa Saunders said the club started after one of their friends died. He said recently they realised many residents, especially the seniors, need edmore help.

“This day came about because we have seen people die easily. We came together as friends and decided to speak to professionals and health institutions about this. We are happy to be heard and many government and independent institutions came on board. The success of the day is the result of working together with these institutions,” he said.

Mr Saunders said his club wascommitted to helping everyone to overcome life challenges by organising professionals to talk to. He added that this pilot project will soon be extended to other areas.

His colleague Mbulelo Tabata added that people can find support as long as they seek it.

He urged people to always visit their health facilities to check their health.

He said it does not help to stay sick when people can find help.

“We understand that people do not want to visit health facilities that is why we have organised this day. We could not sit and fold arms when we could have done something good for our community.

But we cannot always be here so people must take the lead and go to clinics and hospital.

“We are happy that institution like the University of Cape Town has joined us. What that means is that we are serious about addressing people’s health issues,” said Mr Tabata.

He emphasised that access to health is a basic human right and must be accessed by all.

Doctor Nazlie Beckett from UCT’s division of family medicine commended the organisers and the university.

Dr Beckett said they volunteered to provide services to people – something that brings joy to them.