On 4 November it was family fit day out at Mont Marie Stellenbosch for the Annual Anna Basson Properties trail run. The race catered for young and old, big and small, fit and not-so-fit with the 10km, 5km or 1,5km trails. The day could not have been any more perfect with a cool morning breeze but the most beautiful sunshine day following 2 days of pouring rain. The mountain took the conditions well and gave the participants perfect trails. The route itself was challenging with mostly uphill for the first part of the race but a fantastic downhill finish for the last 2.5km from “baboons guts”. The prize money on the day added up to a total of R14 500 which made the first 3 place winners in the 5km and 10km smile all the way and running to the bank. There were over 20 different lucky draw prizes including watches, fragrances, wines, dinner and shopping vouchers, spa treatments which made all participants wait in anticipation for their names to be called. Congratulations on a well organized race by Amoija events and a great partnership with Anna Basson Properties to invest in health, family and celebrating life! CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Many South Africans today do not fully grasp the numerous health risks associated with being overweight and do not take this important aspect of their health and wellbeing as seriously as they should. “Many people have the misconception that obesity is not a significant health issue, and one often hears statements such as ‘I may be overweight but I am healthy’. However, the health risks associated with being overweight are very real and should not be underestimated,” says endocrinologist, Professor Tess van der Merwe, chair of the South African Society for Surgery, Obesity and metabolism (SASSO) who practises at Netcare Waterfall City Hospital and is considered to be one of South Africa’s foremost experts on obesity. “Those who have problems with their weight for one reason or another, should therefore give it the urgent attention it warrants,” adds Prof Van Der Merwe. “This is particularly important as early intervention in addressing obesity and overweight in patients has been shown to produce the best medical outcomes in terms of preventing the development of the conditions that are so often associated with obesity such as type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure,” she emphasises. “We see so many patients who do not recognise the health risks that are inherent to their condition and yet, upon reflection, admit that they have joint pain, their mobility is suffering severely, and they note that this is having a marked impact on their quality of life and even their mental health,” adds Prof Van Der Merwe. “In addition, further investigation into the health of such patients frequently reveals that they suffer from one or more of the numerous medical disorders that are associated with obesity, a number of which are extremely debilitating and can potentially cripple one’s health.” She says that in addition to type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome, conditions including . . .
A South African laparoscopic surgical team at Netcare Sunward Park Hospital in Boksburg near Johannesburg recently performed a live teaching procedure for the AIS Channel (Advances In Surgery), the largest educational forum for laparoscopic surgeons in the world. “Only a few select surgical teams in the world have had the honour of being asked to perform such teaching procedures for the AIS Channel since its inception,” said Jacques du Plessis, managing director of Netcare’s hospital division. According to Du Plessis, the team was led by highly experienced laparoscopic gastrointestinal (GI) surgeon Dr Francois Schutte, who over his career has performed thousands of laparoscopic hernia repair procedures of various kinds. “The highly intricate live-streamed primary hiatus hernia repair procedure, which was successfully undertaken on a 34-year-old man from Johannesburg, demonstrated the latest international advances in laparoscopic techniques and was streamed online via the AIS Channel to almost 15 000 viewers in 115 countries worldwide,” says Du Plessis. “The fact that Dr Schutte and his team were invited to participate in this highly-regarded educational initiative, which included a comprehensive educational panel discussion on the surgical techniques demonstrated, highlights the high esteem they are held within the profession internationally,” he adds. “I believe that it also shows that our local laparoscopic surgeons remain on par with, if not ahead of, the very best in the world.” Dr Schutte, who was assisted in the live-streamed procedure by surgical partner, Dr Frans Badenhorst, says that the AIS Channel is one of the most influential educational forums available to laparoscopic surgeons internationally. “We as a team were therefore deeply privileged when we were recently asked by AIS to participate in their educational programme,” he adds. “There are few greater honours than to be able to impart your knowledge and skills to esteemed . . .
The radiology department at Netcare Park Lane Hospital in Johannesburg has been awarded international accreditation in breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) by the American College of Radiology (ACR). It is the first centre of its kind in South Africa to receive this accreditation. “Parklane Radiology received the ACR gold seal of accreditation for three years following a recent review by ACR. Breast cancer patients are therefore assured of the highest levels of image quality and patient safety. We congratulate Parklane Radiology and the medical professionals practising there, as the accreditation affirms their considerable expertise in this field,” says Jacques du Plessis, managing director of Netcare’s hospital division. “MRI of the breast offers valuable information to oncologists and other breast care specialists about a number of breast conditions that may not be obtained using other imaging technologies such as mammography or ultrasound,” he adds. “The MRI is therefore an important additional tool in the diagnosis and treatment of many patients, particularly those who are at high risk of breast cancer due to abnormal genetics and family history.” The women’s imaging department which forms part of Parklane Radiology at Netcare Park Lane Hospital was developed in recent years by diagnostic radiologists Dr Harry Said, Dr Peter Schoub, Dr Leora Sweidan and Dr Sandy Wise. The comprehensive breast imaging service offered includes MRI, MRI-guided biopsies, tomosynthesis mammography and ultrasound. They have developed a comprehensive, world-class service that is entirely dedicated to, and specialises in, women’s imaging. Dr Schoub says that the women’s imaging department works as part of an integrated, holistic team with other specialists at Netcare Park Lane Hospital, as well as with the Breast Care Centre of Excellence situated at Netcare Milpark Hospital. He adds that MRI is an extremely useful diagnostic tool in certain patients. “Breast MRI is . . .
For thousands of young women, the ability to purchase a basic necessity – such as sanitary towels – is a financial impossibility. The impact of such a seemingly minor inconvenience can have devastating results on the individual’s dignity, as well as long-term educational setbacks that can, ultimately, change the trajectory of the young woman’s future. “The reality is that, for so many women, both locally and globally, not being able to buy sanitary products means that for a week every month, daily activities are restricted,” explained Sue Barnes, founder of Subz Pants and Pads and the non-profit extension, Project Dignity. “For women of school-going age, that means missing out on a week of schooling every single month. This is classroom time that cannot be caught up, and the compounding effect is that these young women are unable to complete high school, putting them at a massive disadvantage for the rest of their lives.” Barnes, a KwaZulu-Natal resident with a background in food technology and fashion design, became aware of this problem seven years ago when her youngest daughter returned home from school with a letter requesting sanitary towels. “My daughter’s school ran an afternoon programme which offered educational assistance for children of another local school but they were concerned that a number of pupils were missing the programme,” recalled Barnes. “When they investigated, they discovered that girls were missing the programme the week they were menstruating because they didn’t have access to sanitary pads. This concerned me enormously. Having two girls myself – both of whom are dyslexic – I realised how detrimental it would be if they had to miss that much school. I decided I had to offer a sustainable solution to the problem.” For Barnes, sustainability was key as it brought with it both economical and environmental advantages that disposable sanitary products did not. Taking her knowledge of fabrics from years in the fashion industry, . . .
New robotics system offers doctors greater precision and saves time ZEISS has announced the launch of its new Robotic Visualization System™, KINEVO® 900, which is designed to deliver more functionality than any other surgical microscope today. The KINEVO® 900 incorporates 100 innovations and combines optical and digital visualization modalities. It offers the unique Micro-Inspection Tool (QEVO) and impressive Surgeon-Controlled Robotics. By combining the Surgeon-Controlled Robotics with its new navigation interface, medical practitioners will be able to minimise time-consuming efforts in approaching challenging neurosurgical pathologies; perform automated positioning to pre-defined anatomical landmarks based on pre-operative data planning and approach deep-seated pathologies in cranial surgery, brain stem or skull base tumour removals. ZEISS Profit Centre Manager Medical Technology, Grant Froneman says the KINEVO® 900 offers doctors even greater certainty in a virtually disruption-free workflow. “The Surgeon-Controlled Robotics deliver a complete new level of precise positioning, enabling intelligent positioning functions and reducing manual hassle. Importantly, it helps practitioners to focus on what matters most: their treatment.” The system’s new PointLock functionality allows users to focus on and move around a structure to visualise the targeted anatomy. In addition, the Surgeon-Controlled Robotics minimise collateral system vibrations, thereby enabling active vibration dampening and ensuring rock-solid stability. Froneman says the system also allows for efficient workflow by storing identified regions of concern in its intelligent PositionMemory. “These can be recalled and visualised at the same magnification, working distance and focus.” CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Confusion continues to surround legislation regarding e-cigarettes and vaping. But, as more organisations publish findings regarding the use of vaping to reduce tobacco smoking and its health risks, so the regulatory tide is beginning to turn, says South Africa's Vapour Product Association (VPA). The irony surrounding the categorisation of e-cigarettes and vaping is that both electronic devices and vapours-which contain varying levels of nicotine - are treated as tobacco products, although they contain no tobacco at all. “In fact,” says Kabir Kaleechurn, Director of the VPA, “the two smoking processes are different. Tobacco smoking relies on burning of tobacco, the cause of all cigarette-smoking health risks while vaping relies on a gentle heating process to deliver its nicotine. It is probably the word ‘cigarette' used for both products that is causing legislative confusion,” he says. "In many countries, the legislation places e-cigarettes in the same category as tobacco. In South Africa, e-cigarettes are not covered by the Tobacco Products Control Act, or by the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act. It seems that the act of combustion and smoke preclude e-cigarettes being regarded as cigarettes. They also do not fall under the Medicines Act as they are marketed solely for recreational purposes." Whilst e-cigarettes and vaping presently fall into the gap between smoking and medicinal legislation in South Africa, there have been calls locally for it to be classified under both sets of legislation. Protagonists for this viewpoint feel that it should be regarded as a medical treatment, with ‘other’ consumption falling under the Tobacco Act because it ‘should be regarded as a health risk like all tobacco products’. In the VPA's view, this is contradictory. Authorities internationally are stating that vaping is reducing smoking by active tobacco smokers. Vaping is also weaning people off tobacco smoking by still offering the hit experienced by . . .
Engen Petroleum is taking their annual Driver Wellness programme to Kokstad in the KwaZulu Natal, offering free health screenings for truck drivers passing through Kokstad. As part of this initiative, all truck drivers are invited to receive voluntary health screenings at Engen Kokstad Truck Stop, on the Main Road, Kokstad on the 10th November from 10:00 – 17:00. Engen Driver Wellness is a mobile health awareness initiative run by Thubelihle Occupational Health & Wellness. The initiative which has impacted positively on the country’s bulk truck driver operators has continued to increase driver participation in voluntary screenings and improved health scores over the years. Over a seven month period, running from April to the middle of November, the programme will reach 21 sites in five provinces. Running for its sixth year, Engen Driver Wellness continues to bring health to the front seat for truck drivers by providing them with free health screenings. Operated nationwide at Engen Truck Stops and retail service stations, drivers are offered free voluntary screenings in mobile clinics. These are conducted by qualified nurses and councillors where blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, tuberculosis, BMI (Body Mass Index) and HIV/AIDS are tested. Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Mntu Nduvane says that the main aim of this initiative is to improve health through awareness. “Education helps to remind drivers and our employees why their health is important and how life choices impact on their well-being. Ultimately this increases their health, safety and productivity.” “There has been a marked increase in the amount of individuals using the services we provide which is a clear indication that this intervention is making a difference to the wellbeing of drivers and will ultimately lead to a healthier industry,” adds Nduvane. As testing is voluntary, the incremental acceptance of health management as a path to longevity and wellbeing . . .
“I can’t do that – I’ve got sore knees!” Knee pain can really cramp a workout, but the best thing for most forms of knee pain is, you guessed it, exercise! This is because you can target the muscles around the knee to offer it more support. But, if you have poor form, or are doing the wrong exercises in the first place, you’re going to send yourself limping back to the bench in no time at all. Springbok Physio and BODYTEC® City Bowl client, Rene Naylor, introduced Springbok captain Jean de Villiers to BODYTEC® Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) in order to maintain his muscle strength during the recovery of his knee injury. Ems is a training method which has been used for decades globally in medical and rehabilitation fields, and has seen significant growth of late as a toning, strengthening and fitness tool as well as an aid to overcoming back pain and knee injuries. The Harvard Medical School says: “The proper balance of strength in the muscles can hold the joint in the most functional and least painful position. With any knee, the first muscles to lose strength are the largest antigravity muscles, the quadriceps and gluteals, so an exercise plan for any injury is likely to focus on these.” Furthermore, strong quadriceps can take over the shock-absorbing role usually played by the meniscus or cartilage in the knee. Check in with your BODYTEC® trainer what will work for your particular situation, but you can get the ball rolling with these exercises to do at home: Don’t do: full squats Do: Partial squats Standing in front of a chair in the squat position, lower yourself towards the chair. Make sure your knees stay behind your toes. Don’t do: lunges Do: step-ups Standing on front of a step, step up onto it (right foot first). Tap your left foot on the top of the step, and then lower. As you step up, your knee should be directly over your ankle. Repeat with the left foot. Don’t do: leg curls Do: calf raises Using a chair or wall for balance, . . .
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, absolute levels of hunger and poverty are the most dramatic issues when it comes to addressing inequality, which in turn is a threat to economic growth. The fact that 3.2 million of South Africa’s children go to school hungry each day serves as a strident call to the nation that achieving one of the cornerstones of our democracy - social equality - will continue to pose a severe challenge unless the cycles of hunger and poverty are addressed. Research indicates that children who are not adequately nourished risk failing to reach their developmental potential, including socio-emotional abilities that are strongly linked to academic achievement and economic productivity. In South Africa, the poorest 40% of the population, which includes a staggering 4 million children under the age of 6 years old, are 2.8 times more likely to suffer the long-term effects of malnutrition compared to those living in the richest 10% of our homes. Poor health and education go hand in hand, and childhood malnutrition can ultimately limit job prospects and reduce future earnings by at least 20%. KFC Public Affairs Director for Africa, Thabisa Mkhwanazi, says that the evidence of how hunger can affect a child’s social well being is significant, and concerning in terms of its potential long-term affect. The social side effects of hunger in children include feelings of anxiety, low self-esteem and even depression. Mkhwanazi says, “Childhood is a critical period for social and neurocognitive development, which are linked to improved health and success in adulthood. From a young age, hungry children already begin displaying signs of poor social interaction with their peers, compared to children who are not hungry. Hungry children appear to be far more reserved, and don’t play as other children play. Conversely, children who don’t worry about food are more confident and better adjusted than their hungry . . .