S Africans encouraged to adopt healthier lifestyles

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pretoria - In commemorating World Health Day on Thursday, Western Cape Health MEC, Theuns Botha, has called on citizens to take personal responsibility for their health by adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Botha said the province has decided to change its approach to health management and steer away from the treatment of illness to the creation of wellness. 

"This means that the greater spotlight will fall on the prevention and early detection of disease, rather than treatment only. It is the responsibility of government and our department to provide health services, but by the same token, each citizen should respond by taking care of their own health by eating healthily and exercising regularly, it is a two-way responsibility.

"The earlier we are able to detect disease, the less the costs incurred. Preventing disease will cost even less," Botha said.

The department has established four workgroups that will report to the Human Development Social Sector Committee to address the upstream issues that contribute to the burden of disease - maternal and child health, reduction of injuries, promotion of healthy lifestyles and HIV/Aids and TB. 

"Effective strategies targeted in these areas will have a long term benefit on the disease profile of our people, in terms of the social agreement between state and citizens, we will create a healthier society by 2020." 

Also commemorating World Health Day, KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo challenged all provincial health workers, especially midwives, to adopt a zero tolerance to maternal deaths in all clinics and hospitals.

Speaking at the official opening of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Unit at Dundee Hospital, Dhlomo said World Health Day was devoted to the men and women who continue to serve people under conditions that are not always favourable.

World Health Day is commemorated annually on 7 April to highlight the need to protect and promote health.

The theme for this year "Antimicrobial Resistance and its Global Spread", calls for global commitment to safeguard antimicrobial medicines for future generations and the proper implementation of policies and practices needed to prevent and counter the emergence of highly resistant microorganisms. - BuaNews