September is Heart Month and Heart Day is Celebrated on 25 September | Western Cape Government


September is Heart Month and Heart Day is Celebrated on 25 September

21 September 2005
Statement from Min Pierre Uys, Minister of Health in the Western Cape

A healthy body houses a healthy heart and as September is Heart Awareness Month the Western Cape Provincial Health Department focuses will be focusing on physical health. Our Shape up for Life-campaign is gathering momentum with more than 1 000 clinic patients already working out under the supervision of 27 newly qualified Health promoters.

Malmesbury and the surrounding area is the most active center in the Western Cape with 60 groups of 20 chronic disease clinic patients each working out on a regular basis. High blood pressure is one of the most common heart attack danger signals and regular physical workouts by patients with unacceptably high blood pressure counts reduces blood pressure and subsequently the danger of a heart attack.

"Healthy lifestyles, largely depend on controlled physical exercise and correct nutrition. This is the message we are bringing home in all walks of life. In provincial administration buildings posters are encouraging employees to climb stairs rather than use escalators. Health staff will be screening people in their workplaces. Factories are primary targets because of their large workforces.

In our run up to World Heart Day our staff will run screenings at factories such as Bokomo and will be promoting healthy lifestyle programmes. By making people aware of the importance of healthy lifestyles, we are reducing the number of heart patients at our already overcrowded clinics. Prevention has always been better than cure," says Uys.

Active exercise groups have been established at Malmesbury, Stellenbosch, Paarl, in the Metro area, Nyanga and Delft, also Athlone and Gugulethu while newly qualified health promoters are also setting up chronic disease exercise groups and focusing on Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and other surrounding areas.

"We have a long way to go, but the enthusiasm has been great and we are already picking the fruits of our labour with noticeable lifestyle and health improvements in several of our communities," says Uys..

Mr Herman van der Westhuizen: 082 772 9161
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