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MEC commemorates World Health Day


The Northern Cape MEC for Health, Maruping Lekwene, has urged communities to prioritise their physical as well as mental health.

Health MEC Maruping Lekwene. Picture: Supplied

THE NORTHERN Cape MEC for Health, Maruping Lekwene, has urged communities to prioritise their physical as well as mental health.

Lekwene was commemorating World Health Day on Thursday under the theme “Our planet, our health”.

Lekwene said people can make a change to the mortality rate by making subtle lifestyle changes.

“Besides participating in physical activities like jogging, brisk walking, playing soccer or netball or any other sport of their choice, members of the community must consume a healthy balanced diet in order to be healthy. Healthy diet habits reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases like hypertension and heart conditions,” said Lekwene.

“Another important aspect is eliminating stress, which can be more important as it poses a greater risk of coronary heart disease. People with heart diseases are also more likely to have a heart attack during times of stress. Unfortunately, people who are stressed sometimes respond with unhealthy habits such as smoking, consuming alcohol and substance abuse including consuming unhealthy food. Therefore, managing stress by leading an active lifestyle is critical to good health.”

The MEC pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic had taught communities that hygiene plays a vital role in healthy living.

“The Departmental of Health team, together with other key role-players, continues to raise awareness on the link between a clean environment and good

health and well-being by using the Covid-19 pandemic as a reference point to keep the importance of good hygiene and a clean environment at the centre of planning in terms of health interventions and to ensure that it remains in the community conscious.

“The Covid-19 pandemic, in particular, has reiterated the importance of hand, personal, household and community hygiene. The well-known fact that many diseases can be prevented by good hand-washing practices, supported by keeping a clean household and environment, is now more relevant than ever before.”

Lekwene also encouraged communities to support those who are sickly or unwell.

“Community members should not discriminate against people living with HIV/Aids and TB, instead they must give them the necessary support, as part of working towards managing and or curing these conditions. TB is curable if patients adhere to the treatment schedule,” Lekwene advised.

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