As part of their commitment to the environment and community the Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) recently donated an imported beach wheelchair, made from PVC pipes, to Cross Home Care based in the Gansbaai area, Western Cape. According to Delanie Bezuidenhout, CEO of SAVA, the wheelchair was imported from the USA and is the first of its kind in South Africa. It is made of medical grade PVC, has non-corrosive plastic bearings and high flotation heavy duty wheels, which allows the physically disabled to access the water and provides better mobility over unpaved areas. “Physically disabled people find it quite challenging to move around on the beach – never mind reaching the water. They are usually confined to the paved areas around the beach. This PVC beach wheelchair has the ability to take them all the way to the breakwater and makes it possible for them to spend a day on the beach with friends and family,” Delanie says. The balloon flotation tyres allow for stability and easy rolling. Because it is made with a high-quality UV protected PVC frame, it can even be taken right into the salty sea water. It won’t chip, peel, rust, fade or discolour and can carry a weight of 115kg. The PVC beach wheelchair was handed over to Sister Tertia Scholtz who owns Overberg based Cross Home Care, runs various community projects and offers free emergency assistance to both residents and visitors to the Pearly Beach Resort. Commenting on what the donation will mean for the local community, Sister Scholtz said: “We have many community members who are wheelchair bound. Thanks to this novel beach wheelchair, we will now be able to allow them to experience the joy of experiencing the beach and the ocean. The use of the PVC beach wheelchair will be free of charge and we would like to invite anyone who is interested in using the beach wheelchair to contact me and book the PVC beach wheelchair for themselves or a loved one, for their next beach adventure”. “PVC . . .
SANCA WESTERN CAPE is the leading service provider in the field of abuse, prevention and treatment. They are well-known for providing specialised services like abuse prevention, out-patient treatment, capacity building and training and related corporate services by a multi-disciplinary team. Based in Western Cape, their main objective is to provide substance abuse prevention and treatment services by applying and reinforcing healthy behaviour and lifestyle changes. Their actions are divided into three levels. They are illustrated below: Primary Prevention It is very crucial to take necessary actions to prevent unpleasant occurrences related to abuse. This positive and active prevention initiative primarily focuses on spreading awareness among people through various awareness programmes and development services. Their awareness programmes mainly focus on the devastating and shattering effects of abuse while emphasising on the necessity of a healthy and positive lifestyle. They also offer training and build capacity services to strengthen the prevention programmes through proper implementation under the observation of professional staff. Secondary Prevention: Secondary Prevention is an important initiative as it basically focuses on high risks groups like youth and abused women including persons abused in the workplace. The secondary prevention programmes include several educational initiatives and life skill training programmes to mitigate the effects of the abuses. Like other drug rehab centres in Cape Town, they are constantly working to fulfil their goals. Tertiary Prevention: This measurement is taken to guide those who have already faced abuse problems. These programmes include a comprehensive assessment service and proper assistance to out-patients and in-patients as well as people who faced abuses. Like the drug rehabilitation centres in Cape Town or in other cities, they are constantly working for the welfare of abused people. They . . .
Engen Driver Wellness brought well being to the front seat for South Africa’s truck drivers in 2017 by providing them with free health screenings. Over 2017, 3 217 truck drivers pulled up their sleeves and took advantage of the voluntary free health screenings on offer, as part of Engen’s annual Driver Wellness programme which rolled out at 24 Engen Truck Stops in five provinces from April to November. Running for its sixth year, Engen Driver Wellness is a mobile health awareness initiative run by Thubelihle Occupational Health & Wellness (TOCH). Of the 3 217 truck drivers tested, 44% were found to have some form of concern. “We provide health education about chronic disease and HIV/AIDS and those drivers who are found with abnormalities are provided with a referral letter and advised to visit their general practitioner, nearest clinic or hospitals,” explains Thokozani Mthembu, the CEO of TOCH. Operated nationwide at Engen Truck Stops and Engen 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), Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) and HIV/AIDS are tested. Abnormalities included being over-weight or obese, which accounted for 20% of drivers; 3.5% tested high for glucose levels and cholesterol. Five per cent of drivers tested high for blood pressure and 3% screened tested positive for TB. Drivers who tested positive for HIV totalled 6.7% and just over 2% tested positive for STI’s. The initiative has impacted positively on the country’s bulk truck driver operators and has continued to increase driver participation in voluntary screenings and improved health scores over the years. “Facing facts, knowing their numbers and their status is the first step towards getting healthy,” says Mthembu. Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Mntu Nduvane says that the main . . .
The recently passed festive season is a time of celebration and is quickly followed by the well-intentioned making of New Year resolutions. As usual, many South Africans will be vowing to quit smoking; it is then that the debate about whether to move from tobacco products to vaping will inevitably be reignited. Whether many smokers make the break from tobacco and move to e-cigarettes and vaping, will depend on the information they receive. They will then have to separate the often ‘emotion-laden’ argument from facts, says Kabir Kaleechurn, Director of the Vapour Products Association of South Africa, which represents the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers in the rapidly expanding vaping sector. “Critics of the tobacco industry are quick to condemn any type of smoking. They rely on evidence that has been accumulated over several decades which is irrefutable. Critics tend to categorise vaping with tobacco smoking. Most often, because vaping is relatively new, they will point out that there is insufficient empirical research available to pronounce that vaping is a safer alternative.” However, says Kaleechurn, many within the anti-smoking lobby are ignoring the growing acceptance that vaping is playing an important role in helping people break the tobacco habit. In addition, the increasingly medically accepted international view that “harm reduction” is better than accepting the status quo regarding smoking, is also being disregarded in debates. “Authorities agree that nicotine is the least harmful substance in tobacco cigarettes. The health danger lies in burning the tobacco. This releases harmful smoke and carcinogens that are inhaled by the smoker. Unfortunately, those nearby who inhale the smoke are also placed at risk. Vaping and e-cigarettes contain nicotine only and the vaping process involves heating the vapour, rather than a burning process. Vapers are also able to choose nicotine levels in their vapour of choice, or none at all." “Confusion . . .
On Sunday 14 January 2018, Johannesburg based Leukaemia survivor – Ray Funnell will set off on an epic journey to the Andes Mountains in an attempt to summit Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America. The extreme altitude of 6,962m (22,840ft) means the ascent will be gradual and will take about 2 weeks, but if all goes well, the team will summit on Ray’s birthday – 29 January. Now 10 years post-transplant, Ray was diagnosed with Acute Myloid Leukaemia (AML) in 2006 after noticing a bruise on his arm wasn’t healing. Due to his prognosis, the best solution was to look for a stem cell donor. Fortunately for Ray, his only sibling was a perfect match and he received a stem cell transplant in the beginning of 2007. The journey since then has been very eventful, with a relapse, chemo sessions, blood transfusions and isolation wards inbetween. However, fuelled with a new lease on life, Ray lives by the motto: Never lose your dream. He has since summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt Elbrus in Russia and Mt Vinson in Antarctica with his son Jayson. This will be his second attempt at summiting Aconcagua, which his son managed to bravely complete on their last attempt. “The symbolic gesture of taking The Sunflower Fund banner to the summit is my way of saying THANK YOU to all blood stem cell donors,” says Ray. “I hope that the publicity from this climb will encourage family, friends and everyone living in South Africa to help save lives by committing to becoming blood stem cell donors.” Ray continued. Ray has set himself the target of raising R22 840.00 for The Sunflower Fund - R100 for every 100ft climbed. The Sunflower Fund recruits potential blood stem cell donors and raises funds to pay the R2500.00 tissue-typing test cost per donor required in the recruitment process. To support Ray in his mission, visit his cause page on Given Gain to make a donation. For more information about The Sunflower Fund or to register as a stem cell donor call 0800 121082 . . .
Polyflor SA recently assisted the Gauteng Department of Health, global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Surgeons for Little Lives, a local non-profit organisation, by supplying state-of-the-art flooring and wall protection for the newly completed Paediatric Surgical Outpatient and Parental Sleep-Over Facility at Soweto’s Chris Hani Baragwaneth Academic Hospital. The new clinic officially opened its doors at the beginning of December 2017 and caters for infants and children with paediatric surgical conditions, providing the first integrated service offering support for families of young patients. According to a media statement on the project issued by Gauteng Health, the hospital’s paediatric surgery department currently draws patients from across the northern half of South Africa, as well as numerous patients from Sub-Saharan Africa, on account of its world-class care. However, the facilities required essential improvement to appropriately serve the catchment population of in excess of 15 million people. Thanks to corporate funding and support received, this new facility will now be able to support 1,500 outpatients and 130 inpatients per month. In addition, the centre will house a parental sleep-over facility, allowing children the opportunity to have family support while admitted as inpatients to the hospital, often for prolonged periods of time. Tandy Coleman, CEO of Polyflor, states that they were very excited about partnering on this project which was designed by global private hospital group Mediclinic. “We are passionate about giving back to a community and an industry that has supported us for a long time. For this reason, we were happy to donate some of the products at no cost where possible, or to make it available to the developers at a greatly discounted price to help them maximise their budget as much as possible,” she says. Commenting on the success of the project, Prof. Jerome Loveland, Chairman of the Board, Surgeons for . . .
Over the festive season, a time of year when many families’ finances are stretched, some may be tempted to suspend payment of their medical scheme contributions, exposing their families to significant personal and financial risk. “We know that over December and January there tends to be an increase in claims for accidental injury and illness. In the tough financial climate South Africans are facing, resigning from medical scheme cover to pay for the additional expenses that arise at this time of the year may seem like an option,” says Mark Arnold, Principal Officer of Resolution Health Medical Scheme. “We appeal to the public to think twice before adopting this short-sighted approach to funding their summer holidays and festive gifts, because the risk certainly outweighs any perceived saving. The peace of mind that goes with belonging to a trusted medical scheme should not be compromised over the holiday season.” Arnold points out that accidents, illnesses and other health events can strike when least expected and without valid medical scheme membership the cost of a few days in intensive care in a private hospital can be financially crippling for a family. “The holiday season should be a time for rest and relaxation, and being a member of a medical scheme means that you do not need to worry about unexpected healthcare expenses. We encourage our members to review their choice of benefit option to ensure that they have adequate cover for the year ahead, and enjoy the peace of mind that this offers.” To help make the summer holidays as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, Resolution Health recommends that members pack the following items in preparation for their travels. Your medical scheme membership card “It is vital to keep your medical scheme membership card, which can be your passport to accessing your healthcare cover benefits, with you at all times – whether you are travelling or not. “Programme your medical scheme’s contact details . . .
Cape Town, December, 7, 2017: Addiction and other self-destructive behaviours have a devastating effect on both the addict and their loved ones. Making the choice to book into a rehab facility and getting the necessary support and psychological help is paramount to long-term recovery and relapse prevention. But the treatment program chosen is just as important. Treatment for substance abuse and process-addictions is a complex matter that goes far beyond simply the abuse of drugs, alcohol, gambling and other vices. Treatment plans need to cater to the individual. There are countless rehab options available, so it is understandable to feel overwhelmed. Increasing there is a large group of professionals who support alternative recovery options to 12-Steps. When faced with the choice to opt for an alternative non-traditional program or traditional 12-Step program, what are the major benefits of opting for the newer, alternative treatment? The 12-Step Program and the Minnesota Model The 12-Step program was used in conjunction with the Minnesota Model which advocates complete abstinence from all mind-altering substances. 12-Step programs function more as peer support groups and self-help organisations. However, in a primary care facility, there are also a number of counsellors and other medical staff on hand to assist with detox and provide individualised care. Most rehabs and recovery centres use this model and for many people suffering from addiction the program has helped them enjoy a happy, productive, sober life. However, this program has had varying degrees of success, which has led to a number of patients seeking alternative treatments. One of the keystones vested in the 12-Step program postulates that alcoholism and addiction are a disease. 12-Step’s sees the dependence on drugs or alcohol as the ‘primary problem’. Non 12-Step programs sees recovery in a different light. Dependence certainly plays a major role in treating addiction but . . .
As part of their continued partnership the Gauteng Department of Health, global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Surgeons for Little Lives, a local non-profit organisation, today opened their newly completed Paediatric Surgical Outpatient and Parental Sleep-Over Facility at Soweto’s Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. The new clinic will cater for infants and children with paediatric surgical conditions, providing the first integrated service offering support for families of young patients. The hospital’s paediatric surgery department currently draws patients from across the northern half of South Africa, as well as numerous patients from Sub-Saharan Africa, on account of its world-class care. However, the facilities required essential improvement to appropriately serve the catchment population of in excess of 15 million people. In line with GSK’s focus on mother and child health, the global healthcare company has provided funding and support to this new facility that will support 1,500 outpatients and 130 inpatients per month. In addition, the centre will house a parental sleep-over facility, allowing children the opportunity to have family support while admitted as inpatients to the hospital, often for prolonged periods of time. The opening of this world-class facility is part of GSK’s ongoing commitment to provide best-in-class access to healthcare in South Africa. Designed by global private hospital group Mediclinic, who were pivotal in the construction, implementation and logistical support of building the facility, the centre will enable patients to receive the highest level of care, privacy and dignity available. Dr Sifiso Maseko, Acting CEO, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital: “This is a great initiative which shows what can be achieved when the private sector partners with us in the public service. We are grateful to both GSK and Surgeons for Little Lives for this historic venture. The patients treated here will extend . . .
Dr Justin Gavanescu, general manager of Netcare Milpark Hospital, and Dr Skhumbuzo Ngozwana, President and CEO of Kiara Health, distributors of the Xenex ‘germ-zapping robots’ in Africa. Photo: Netcare/Kiara Healthcare facilities the world over face a daily challenge to prevent the spread of infections and, with increasing concern about antibiotic resistance, South African healthcare group Netcare is teaming up with robots that seek and destroy viruses and bacteria within minutes. “Our new ‘allies’ in infection prevention and control have shown such impressive results internationally and during pilot trials at two of our hospitals, that Netcare recently ordered a second consignment of these highly advanced robots, manufactured by Xenex, to further bolster our comprehensive existing disinfection measures,” says Jacques du Plessis, managing director of Netcare’s hospital division. Senior clinical advisor at Netcare, Dr Caroline Maslo, explains that the Xenex Pulsed Xenon UV Disinfection Robots were recently made available in Africa for the first time, but are becoming an established line of defence against bacteria, viruses and fungi in healthcare facilities across Europe and the United States. “We initially tested the Xenex Pulsed UV Disinfection Robots at Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital and Netcare Pretoria East Hospital, where we found that they quickly and efficiently disinfected the areas where they were deployed. Having tested the robots in different settings in the two facilities in separate provinces, we found that the results lived up to the independent international studies endorsing this method of disinfection,” Dr Maslo observes. “What we found particularly impressive is the fact that the pulsed high-intensity xenon ultraviolet [UV] light used by the robots is not only highly effective in destroying viruses, bacteria and fungal spores, but is also able to achieve thorough disinfection far more quickly than the other traditional methods, which we . . .