News OurHealth

Diabetes awareness kicks into high gear in Alex

Heala protest on World Diabetes Day 2017. (Credit: Kerry Cullinan)
Written by Ramatamo Sehoai

ALEXANDRA – The City of Joburg has embarked on a diabetes awareness campaign in an effort to educate residents of the large township on the dangers of the illness, now ranked the second cause of natural deaths after TB.

Health workers in Alexandra have been screening people for diabetes and advising them on a healthy diet and lifestyle.

“This year we are intensifying our campaign particularly around pregnant women as we know the danger of diabetes to their unborn children. If we found the disease is outside the control range, we’ll immediately put them on our various City’s facilities for the treatment,” said Eleanor Lebethe, Director of Public Health for the City of Johannesburg.

With the assistance of the ward-based outreach teams, they’ll visit various households in the township to educate, collect data and encourage people for further screening.  

“During recent research, we conducted at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital we found that in most surgical wards many of the cases were the result of diabetes. There were so many amputations.”

Healthy lifestyle

Lebethe encouraged residents to stick to the healthy diet with correct portions. She said diabetes can easily be avoided with a healthy lifestyle.

“A 30-minute jog or brisk walk once or twice a week can go a long way towards promoting better health.” 

One of the participants in the campaign, Elizabeth Tsoamotse, was very grateful for the information she received.

“I wish I knew this when I was younger, long before I developed diabetes. But I guess it is never too late. I have since joined an active aging club where we do various exercises and motivate each other to eat good food. I’ve since seen a big difference in my health,” she said. – Health-e News.

About the author

Ramatamo Sehoai

Ramatamo Sehoai is an award-winning community journalist from Alexandra Township who curved his health journalism at FrayIntermedia and Mail & Guardian. He has written for numerous publications as a freelancer and won fellowships. Ramatamo is one of our Gauteng based citizen journalists and hosts a weekly talk show at Alex FM. He is also studying towards a BA Honours in Journalism and Media studies at Wits University.