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City in a race to put diabetes under the skids

The City of Johannesburg and global health company Novo Nordisk will on Thursday, November 4, stage a gruelling 72-hour cycling relay race through five South African cities and towns to raise awareness of diabetes and the importance of screening and testing for this lifestyle disease.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development Cllr Mpho Phalatse will officially signal the start of the Novo Norsdisk Relay, setting 16 cyclists – including members of the City’s Cycle Team – into motion to highlight healthy lifestyle choices and risks associated with diabetes and obesity.

The Johannesburg leg of the relay will start in Sandton and proceed to Maponya Mall in Soweto, where diabetes screening and testing services will be provided. The relay race will then make its way to Bloemfontein, Aliwal North, Graaff-Reinet and end in George, in the Western Cape.

Elionora Lebethe, the City’s Deputy Director of Public Health, says diabetes symptoms include weight loss, frequent urination, a lack of energy and excessive thirst.

“People with a combination of any of these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. South Africa has seen a massive increase in the number of diabetes and obesity cases. The health crisis is called ‘the diabetes tsunami’. Action needs to be taken by each and every one of us to avert this ticking health time-bomb, starting with testing and screening,” says Lebethe.

Diabetes screening and testing will be among a range of health services that will be available at no cost at Maponya Mall from 9am to 3m on Thursday.

To keep up to date with the Novo Nordisk Cycle 4 Diabetes Relay, visit ChangingDiabetesZA on Facebook or @NovoNordiskSA on Twitter, or follow the hashtags #ChangingDiabetes and #Cycle4Diabetes.