Over the years there has been a significant increase in the number of people who suffer from lifestyle diseases. This is mostly due to unhealthy eating, alcohol intake, smoking and a lack of physical activity.
To this end, the Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research (AUTHeR) at the North-West University (NWU) has partnered with the North West Province’s Department of Health to promote a healthy lifestyle in the province.
On 20 May, in support of Global Move for Health Day which is annually celebrated on 10 May, participants from the Dr Kenneth Kaunda district walked from the Kenneth McArthur Stadium in Potchefstroom to the River Walk Mall. At the mall participants did some cardio exercises, had their body mass index measured by NWU dietetics students. and those over 60 were registered for the Covid-19 vaccine as part of this health initiative.
“We felt that this would be the perfect event for the NWU to reactivate the NOW Initiative,” says Karlien van Schalkwyk.
This initiative was established at the NWU’s first health promotion summit in 2019 and launched in collaboration with the North West and the Western Cape Department of Health.
“The initiative had been halted by the Covid-19 pandemic, but fortunately our champions were able to recruit new members. The NOW initiative will carry on and be further expanded in 2021,” adds Karlien.
Madoda Sambatha, the MEC of Health for the North West Province, reminded participants to remain active while also observing Covid-19 protocols.
“The Dr Kenneth Kaunda district is fast becoming a Covid-19 hotspot, and I urge residents to continue wearing masks, sanitise, and practise social distancing as this is the only way we will defeat the pandemic,” he said.
He also encouraged the youth to assist those over the age of 60 to register online for the Covid-19 vaccine.