Encouraging a healthier lifestyle

Online since 31.08.2016 • Filed under Industry news • From Issue 4 - September 2016 - February 2017 page(s) 41
Encouraging a healthier lifestyle

Established in 1980 as a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) plays a leading role in the fight against preventable heart disease and stroke.

The HSFSA aims to reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) and ultimately the burden on South Africa’s health care system by empowering people to adopt healthy lifestyles and make healthy choices, and to seek appropriate care and encourage prevention. HSFSA’s CEO is Dr Vash Mungal-Singh, a zealous advocate for health. He also serves as vice-president of the World Heart Federation and sits on the Non- Communicable Disease (NCD) Global Coordinating Mechanism working committee of the World Health Organisation (WHO). ‘We continually build and reinforce our national and international relationships to rally global support for the fight against NCD’s,’ says Dr Mungal-Singh. ‘As an established support base for CVD sufferers and the general public, we offer support through awareness, education and screening. Our offerings include established and developing community programmes to promote healthy environments and ultimately healthier lifestyles. We focus on all the major means of support via groups, screening tests, electronic newsletters, and our health line that allows the public to access information directly from our registered dieticians. We also provide those who have suffered a CVD episode or event an opportunity to share their story on our website.’

Be Smart@Heart by getting tested

During September, Heart Awareness Month, the HSFSA wants all South Africans to be Smart@Heart by making a donation toward saving the lives of children, and getting tested to find out their risk. Celebrated annually, Heart Awareness Month is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease in South Africa, highlighting the importance of a healthy lifestyle and appropriate treatment. This year, funds raised will go towards the purchase of pulse oximeters (a machine that measures the oxygen in a baby’s blood) to help in the early detection of congenital heart disease (CHD) in babies. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that ‘pulse oximeters should be in every health facility worldwide’. In countries such as America this is standard practice. However, many hospitals and health facilities in South Africa don’t have the pulse oximeters, the staff training or policies in place to make this happen.

Knowing is empowering

Start by getting screened for free at your nearest Dischem pharmacy during the month of September to find out your blood pressure, blood sugar and weight status, as well as if you are at risk. Don’t fall prey to those famous last words: ‘I feel fine. It won’t happen to me.’ Getting tested can be the best few minutes spent investing in yourself. To donate, SMS ‘SMART’ to 38502 at a cost of R10 per SMS.

For more information, call 0860 1 HEART (43278) or visit www.heartfoundation.co.za

Issue 4 - September 2016 - February 2017

Issue 4 - September 2016 - February 2017

This article was featured on page 41 of SABI Magazine Issue 4 - September 2016 - February 2017 .

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