Having taught for 31 years at a public high school in Potchefstroom, Harmen Wijnberg is not only an authority on educating teenagers, he also appreciates the importance of health and wellbeing when it comes to keeping up with his young learners and living life to the fullest. “Last year, I noticed that I wasn’t feeling well. I kept on working but I was tired every day and I didn’t know what was going on. At the time I was feeling worried because my wife had been ill, and at first I thought I was simply experiencing the effects of stress,” 57-year-old Harmen recalls. “I struggled to walk far and found myself gasping for breath at the slightest exertion. I tried using an asthma pump, but this did not relieve the problem.” When he went to the doctor, Harmen was shocked to learn that a problem with his heart had been identified and he was referred to a top cardiologist in Johannesburg. “When you or your partner are faced with a health problem, there are so many things going through your mind. The last thing you should be worried about is whether you can afford the treatment that could save your life,” he says. “Fortunately, I am a member of the Government Employees Medical Scheme [GEMS], and the Scheme covered the bulk of the healthcare expenses, both for myself and for my wife’s treatment. “ Harmen underwent a number of tests and was diagnosed with a heart rhythm disturbance, which the cardiologist was able to treat using a minimally invasive procedure, most of which was funded by the Scheme. “While I was in hospital for my heart, they also tested my breathing overnight during sleep. I was astonished when the results showed that I actually stopped breathing 40 times during the night – and I was completely unaware that this was happening to me every night.” Harmen was diagnosed with a condition known as obstructive sleep apnoea, whereby the individual’s sleep is repeatedly disrupted as their airway becomes blocked. “My wife had mentioned that . . .
The #MeToo movement has given survivors of sexual assault and harassment a voice to share their stories. The majority of those who have stepped forward are women, yet researchers estimate that at least one in six men have had unwanted sexual experiences, including abuse and assault, before age 18*. “This figure is extremely concerning, yet still quite low. This is because men are less likely to disclose their experiences due to stigma, coupled with a lack of awareness around the support services available to them,” says Riaan Norval, Project Manager for Young Heroes - a campaign being run by Anova Health Institute and funded by the Elton John Aids Foundation to empower adolescent LGBTQ youth, specifically those who identify as gay or bisexual, as well as those questioning their sexuality. He continues: “According to the Human Rights Campaign, ‘as a community, LGBTQ people face higher rates of poverty, stigma and marginalisation, which put us at greater risk for sexual assault. We also face higher rates of hate-motivated violence, which can take the form of sexual assault’. This has been evidenced in a recent study - titled The Facts Behind the #MeToo Movement: A National Study on Sexual Harassment and Assault- which has revealed that 42% of men who have sex with men (MSM) have experienced physically aggressive sexual harassment, compared to 25% of straight men. In addition, 19% of MSM have suffered sexual assault, compared to 6% of straight men.” Studies have found that men who have endured such experiences are at far higher risk of serious mental health problems such as: post-traumatic stress disorder and depression; alcoholism and drug abuse; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; problems in intimate relationships and underachievement at school and work*. Young Heroes aims to equip young MSM with psychosocial tools and support for better health outcomes while they are in their teens. The campaign does so by providing them with information, safe . . .
For the last few years, scientists and dietitians have advised us to eat whole fruit and not drink fruit juice. Studies, including one published in the British Medical Journal in 2013, found fruit juice to be associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, while eating fruits whole lowers that risk (as well as lowering the risk of many other chronic diseases). As a result, current public health advice recommends that we limit our fruit juice intake to a mere 150ml a day. The reason for this is that fruit juice has a high glycaemic index (a measure of how quickly carbohydrates in a food boost blood sugar, commonly known as GI), most likely because it passes through the digestive system much more rapidly than fibre-rich fruit. A new study, however, published in Nutrition & Diabetes, brings very good news about fruit juice. There is a caveat, though, regarding the preparation of the juice (so don’t rush to the supermarket just yet). A team of scientists from the University of Plymouth in the UK – led by Dr Michael Jarvis and Dr Gail Rees – carried out research investigating the effect of fruit juice prepared using the increasingly popular nutrient extractors on the market, like the NutriBullet. Because NutriBullet-type blenders break down food particles to their smallest size, health professionals had always assumed that the extracted nutrients and sugars in the juice would result in rapid glucose absorption, spiking sugar levels in the same way commercially prepared fruit juice does. But this study turned that assumption on its head. The team examined the effect of whole-fruit consumption compared with juice prepared in a nutrient extractor. Participants ate mixed fruit – banana, mango, granadillas, pineapple, kiwi and raspberries – in their whole form and drank it in juice, and their blood glucose levels were measured after consumption. And, what a surprise, the juice from the NutriBullet actually resulted in a lower GI than that of the whole . . .
While visiting a game lodge in South Africa with her husband in 2017, Australian resident Fiona Waller, happened to read a leaflet about the work of Sue Barnes and her organisation, Subz Pants and Pads, involving the distribution of eco-friendly, reusable sanitary pads and accompanying cotton panties to young women in schools across the country. Waller, who was astounded to learn about this pressing problem throughout the continent, was driven to contribute to Subz and its non-profit extension, Project Dignity. A philanthropist at heart, Waller recently established Dignity Movement, a charity which raises funds to further the education of girls. She and her husband have also been involved in numerous charitable donations over the years with Project Dignity their first South African-based charity. “Reading about Project Dignity, I was instantly interested as I have a daughter and thought of her having to drop out of school if she couldn’t easily manage her period,” recalled Waller. “I had no idea that this was such an issue globally, affecting education and limiting employment options later in life. The thought of all those girls around Africa missing out on education was too terrible for me, I just had to help. I also love the fact that Project Dignity doesn’t just hand out the reusable pads, they educate the girls about their sexual health and rights. That really appeals to me. I was looking for a charity that I could work with and so I contacted Sue when I got back to Australia to get involved.” The Melbourne resident and her husband, Damien, worked tirelessly, contacting various organisations for financial contributions towards Subz Pants and Pads. Their work paid off and they have subsequently invested in 1 500 Subz packs which they have been distributing to various KwaZulu-Natal schools through Project Dignity. “We are incredibly overwhelmed by the efforts of the Waller family, as well as the generous contributions by benefactors who have only just . . .
AGENCY WIN: SIMONSAYS COMMUNICATIONS SIGNS NUTRISEED We are delighted to let you know that award-winning functional food company Nutriseed, has appointed SIMONSAYS communications to handle its ongoing public relations and social media requirements for its NuSeed and NuMe product ranges. In the business of health and wellness; when you eat a Nutriseed product there’s no compromise when it comes to flavour, nutrition, and convenience. The products are best described as delicious guilt-free pleasures that are truly good for you. Most people think food that’s this healthy can’t possibly taste good; particularly when it comes to gluten-free alternatives. One of the many things we value about Nutriseed is they develop healthy, nutritious and convenient food – but never at the expense of taste. Their food is packed with flavour. Please add us to your features lists and be sure to contact us should you have any requirements where we might be able to add value editorially. We are also open to competitions as value added offerings for your readers and look forward to partnering with you on mutually beneficial projects in the months ahead. The immediate focus for the SIMONSAYS team will be to launch the NuMe “Not So Naughty” range of gluten free baking products. High protein, low-carb products - that are endorsed by the Noakes Foundation’s Eat Better South Africa intervention programme. Watch this space – we will be in touch on this one soon. NuSeed and NuMe products are in Dischem Pharmacies, as well as selected supermarkets. To find out more about Nutriseed visit www.nutriseed.co.za or follow us on Facebook or Instagram. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Aaron Lipschitz (3) from Cape Town, is the first South African to be diagnosed with Interleukin-12 Receptor Defect, a rare incurable disease that affects his immune system,. Of the few known cases worldwide, Aaron is the only child who is unable to consume or touch food. Play therapist and mum Taryn, describes an easy pregnancy and an uncomplicated birth of her son Aaron, but at only two weeks old, Taryn and husband Steven noticed that Aaron was responding negatively to his feeds and he was rushed to the hospital. It took a number of hospital visits and countless tests to determine that Aaron was not only among the 0.1% of babies who born are allergic to breast milk protein, but that any food item, formula or liquid, excluding water caused severe pain and discomfort for Aaron. “It's still so difficult to process. We are an average couple without any significant medical history so to have such a unique child as been really surprising to us” – says Aaron’s parents. For the first two years of his life, Aaron had to take a pancreatic enzyme pill called Creon in order to digest an expensive formula called Neocate, which he had to take every 2 to 3 hours. His body couldn’t tolerate anything else. By October 2017, doctors could see that the formula was no longer providing Aaron with enough nutrition to accommodate his growth and he was fitted with central lines and catheters to begin Total Parenteral Nutrition which commonly used for coma patients. “A port runs through Aaron’s heart and every evening he is fed intravenously, avoiding his digestive system.” – says Taryn. At 3 years old, Aaron is no stranger to the hospital. He’s been exposed to blood tests, drips, ultrasounds, hundreds of hospital visits, MRIs, consultations with immunologists, gastroenterologists, neurologists, paediatricians, allergists, haematologists, oncologists, dieticians and occupational therapists to name a few. He spends many afternoons at Cape Town Mediclinic under the . . .
The experience of viewing the best in KwaZulu-Natal’s décor, design and lifestyle will be suitably enhanced by sampling some of the region’s most irresistible food offerings at one of many gourmet stations and features across Decorex Durban, sponsored by Plascon. KZN’s premier décor, design & lifestyle expo, taking place at Durban Exhibition Centre from 21 to 25 March, promises to be a foodie’s dream as it plays host to leading local chefs and eateries all prepared to match style with extraordinary taste. For those seeking culinary tips and examples of the best kitchen appliances on the market, the Gourmet Cooking Theatre is the first stop for hungry visitors. Here the East Coast’s top chefs will fuse the cultural influences of this vibrant city into a range of tasty meals and flavour-filled drinks that can be replicated at home. This delicious installation is all set within the carefully curated cooking theatre, giving visitors the chance to pick up on cooking tips and kitchen design trends all in one space. One of the participants at this year’s Gourmet Cooking Theatre is Durban North-based business, We are Food, which delivers uniquely frozen meals from Upper Highway to Ballito, with a We are Food store in the Ballito Lifestyle Centre. “This is our first time participating at Decorex Durban and we’re really excited,” said Jane Bisset, the younger sister in the We are Food sister’s partnership and head of all things food related. “We’re going to showcase a few of our ‘go-to’ dishes for entertaining - something decadent and delicious which is actually fairly easy to do! We place a lot of importance on enjoying your cooking experience in the kitchen so we will be showing the audience that there is no need to get overwhelmed by technical jargon and unusual ingredients. We want to explore some ideas that prove you can still ‘wow’ your friends with simple saving recipes and a few of our time-saving tips!” Bissett – a Christina Martin-trained chef – said . . .
Google Video Specialist, Zanele Hlatshwayo (33) from Orlando West, Soweto has pledged to run 18 marathons to redefine her father’s legacy, after he took his own life in June 2008 at the age of 47. “My father was my hero. He was the man who was there for me every step of the way. He never missed a parents meeting, prize giving or any graduation ceremony. He taught me that I can be whoever I want to be and that all my goals are possible. He never missed an opportunity to encourage me. He was there every step of the way until he took his life on that fatal morning” – says Zanele. At the age of 24, Zanele faced a world of unanswered questions and found comfort in running to cope with the unbearable weight of her loss. “I couldn't understand why my father had to leave me. I was angry, broken and ashamed that the strongest man I've ever known took his own life I kept asking myself what was he thinking. At first, I was running away from my pain, but eventually, running became a coping mechanism for me. Now running has become my sacred space where I get to heal, clear my head, but most of all where I get to conquer“ – says Zanele In honor of her late father Phillip Hlatshwayo, Zanele has set up a campaign on donations-based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy, to raise R180 000 for South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG). To raise the funds, Zanele has committed to running 18 races across South Africa between January and July 2018. She has so far completed 7 races. Zanele’s upcoming races include the Two Oceans Marathon, Comrades and on the 27th of July, Zanele will take on the Washie 100 Miler in the Eastern Cape, a distance of 160km. “I have decided to rise and raise awareness about depression and suicide: silent killers that are scourging our beautiful country. I want to demystify mental illness and create a dialogue so that people no longer have to suffer for silence. If my BackaBuddy campaign saves one life, my purpose on this earth would . . .
Companies collaborate with an urgent Call to Action to ensure Schools remain Open, Operational & Sanitary during the Cape Town Water Crisis. SOS, Save Our Schools - Water Crisis Awareness Initiative Cape Town, March, 2018: SOS – We all know the term in popular usage. SOS became associated with such phrases as "Save our Ship” - a crisis on the water or simply a water crisis. Cape Town is predicted to be the first of the so called “modern world’s first major city” which could run completely out of municipal drinking water. Let us just think about that for a moment, run dry? What does that actually mean, and how could this happen? There are many explanations and reasons and most people, living or interested in Cape Town have been bombarded with reasoning and excuses from political mismanagement to 3 years in a row “coincidence drought” to poorly maintained water supply systems. As all politically managed societies, we are quick to first blame and only thereafter, to action solutions to deal with the crisis in front of us. The fact is that ‘water scarcity’ is a new norm that we need to internalize and most of the actions lie within the individual to change behavior, not only whilst the crisis is ongoing, but thereafter, moving forward. We can no longer live with the idea that this would be a short-term drought and that things would return to normal at some point," Shelley Humphreys, Director of Water4CapeTown says. "Climate change is a ‘real’ issue, and it's only begun to dawn on us how much the demand for water will just keep increasing." Looking to action, Water4CapeTown, an NPO formed by Humphreys in September last year, began researching the globe to seek opinion leaders and specialists for more information and focus on Cape Town’s new reality. Cape Town’s main sources of income is provided by Agriculture, the Wine Industry and Tourism, all business areas with a huge need of water and all with a pressured role to keep the fragile economy of South . . .
Mhlengi Gwala (26), a star triathlete from Chesterville in KZN, was attacked by three men who attempted to cut one of his legs off using a handsaw. Gwala, was cycling near the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard College Campus) around 3.30am when he was stopped by three men and dragged into the bushes. Mhlengi told his attackers to take his valuables, including his iPhone, Garmin and his bicycle, but the men were not interested in his personal items and proceeded to cut into his legs. Luckily, security guards came to Gwala's rescue and he was taken to a private hospital. Mhlengi’s story sparked outrage and the senseless act made local and international headlines. Hoping to raise funds for Mhleng’s medical treatment, JP Valverde from My Project Generator set up a BackaBuddy crowdfunding campaign. In a few short hours, the crowdfunding campaign, surpassed the R150 000 mark as South Africans opened their hearts and sent messages of support to the athlete who was then undergoing surgery. Donations ranging from R10 to R10 000 with the support of over 1650 donors local and abroad contributed to an overwhelming total of R 713 105.90. The funds, managed by BackaBuddy, will go towards covering Mhlengi’s medical fees, transportation‚ bike replacement and rehabilitation costs, says JP. “Through their generosity, South Africans have once again proven, that as a society we will stand up for those affected by senseless acts of violence. One anonymous donation on BackaBuddy said it best, 'May the love you feel from strangers help you overcome the fear and fuel your recovery.' ” – says BackaBuddy, CEO, Patrick Schofield. Mhlengi’s friend and training partner, Sandile Shange said the operation had been a success after speaking to him last night. “He is able to talk and is in a lot of pain understandably. He is a strong-minded person and he has been blown away by the support shown by fellow South Africans,” he said. Inspiring messages are coming in strong in . . .