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Exercise and health were promoted at a Region F health day, where activities included a fun walk and tests for chronic diseases, as well as plenty of entertainment.
AT the crack of dawn, the director of Region F, Nkosinathi Mthethwa, together with 200 other people went on a 5km walk to promote healthy living.


Region F director Nathi MthethwaPromoting a healthy lifestyle: Region F director Nathi MthethwaWearing black T-shirts bearing the slogan, ‘My Inner City, My Pride, My Hope’, they brought a sense of life to the dull neighbourhood as they joyfully walked down Turffontein streets.

The walk began at 7am at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, 9 April; it went around the suburb and ended back at the stadium. The first 10 participants to complete the route got gold metals while the rest received bronze metals.

It was an exciting day. Youngsters showed off their artistic and sports talents, while adults relaxed and enjoyed the festivities. Among other activities during the health day were poetry, drama, aerobics and traditional dances.

Mthethwa, accompanied by the Region F manager of health, Oupa Montsioa, went on a door-to-door campaign, to share health tips with local residents. “Prevention is better than cure,” said Montsioa to a group of people. He said the money spent on treating diseases could be used to improve health facilities and even build new ones.

It was the first health day to take place in Region F, and may become an annual event, according to Mthethwa. Region D hosted a similar day in February. It was held to mark World Health Day, an annual initiative of the World Health Organization.

The focus on the day was on raising awareness about the global spread of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobials are micro-organisms that can withstand attack by microbial medicines such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials. They include bacteria, viruses and some parasites.

This means that medicines cannot kill them, and treating the diseases they cause becomes extremely difficult.


A Region F resident checks her blood pressureA Region F resident gets her blood pressure checked“No action today, no cure tomorrow,” said Mthethwa, reading out the theme of the day. He encouraged people to adopt a healthy lifestyle. “Instead of driving to local shopping centres, take a walk, stretch your muscles. I promise you, if we can adopt this kind of culture, we will halve the number of people lying in hospital beds.

“People should refrain from the mentality of visiting health centres only when they are ill. Clinics and hospitals are open 24 hours a day. Take your time and visit these facilities just to check on your general state of health,” he added.

Testing stalls were set up in the stadium, checking on health issues and chronic illnesses such as blood sugar levels and diabetes, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. There were also stalls for HIV voluntary counselling and testing.

Montsioa said his department would continue running similar programmes throughout the year to ensure that the message of healthy living and prevention of disease was well communicated.

“We will roll out more health campaigns to impart knowledge to our people. In line with our theme, we need to start taking action today, so that we can have a healthy Region F and ultimately a healthy Joburg.”

He added that Region F was working with the government and the private sector to improve health care services. “We believe that our partnerships will create an effective health system.”

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