By the time you read this October would be a thing of the past which is Cancer Awareness Month. As a young child I was quite ignorant about the illnesses of the world. We would donate R5 at school for this and that cause and I never really understood it until my mother sat me down and said to me, “Your cousin has leukemia!”
She has what? In my young 9 year old mind I was thinking that God didn’t love her enough and if I donated more money at school then she won’t be sick anymore. I was told that leukemia is the cancer of the blood and that’s where tutorial 101 about cancer began and ended. This was the beginning of a never ending journey for my family and me with cancer.
Fast forward to 2008 where the family found out that the leader of the pack, my grandmother had cancer. Many tests were done to finally determine what was wrong with her as she had being misdiagnosed on many occasions, which would always see her back in the hospital. Read the full story
I Choose to Live – a song written and performed by South African singer, presenter actor Tshepo “Howza” Mosese became the official anthem for World Diabetes Day 2010.
In continuing the fight against Diabetes, global healthcare company Novo Nordisk are taking the song further, by hosting the “Sing for a cure” on 05 November at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg from 12h00 to 16h00.
Taking to the stage, Howza will be supported by other South African greats, DannyK, Kabelo, Madoda, and hip hop group Teargas. This concert is another innovative outreach by the global diabetes company and forms part of their “Changing Diabetes” campaign – and marks the start of this year’s World Diabetes Day awareness outreach. World Diabetes Day takes place annually on the 14th November and is driven globally by the International Diabetes Federation. The Novo Nordisk Changing Diabetes Bus, will also be parked on the square – offering free diabetes screening to the public.
Howza, himself a diabetic and also one of the Novo Nordisk Diabetes Youth Ambassodors, continues to use his celebrity and influence to promote the fight against “the silent killer” diabetes by performing at this event and singing his well-known and iconic song “I Choose to Live”. “I wrote and launched this song in 2010 – specifically to raise awareness about diabetes and how our choices affect our health” he says. “This song is about the impact of diabetes on the world and the importance of prevention.”
Alongside this, he knows the importance of targeted messaging around obesity in young people and its proven direct link to diabetes. Howza says he wants to educate people on a healthy lifestyle across the board. “I would like to make a difference in people’s lives by improving awareness and also informing people about healthy living,” he says.
Howza, 27, was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2003. His father had lived with Type 2 Diabetes all his life – yet Howza’s own symptoms were not recognised until his condition was at an advanced stage. This is a common situation experienced by many South Africans due to a lack of awareness and education about diabetes. “When the initial symptoms of diabetes started hitting me, neither my parents nor I thought it could have been the cause,” he says. “We thought that diabetes was something that only happened to older people. This is why awareness and education is so important! This disease can affect people of any age, any race and any sex, but it can be managed and people can live full lives.”
Since his diagnosis Howza has made it one of his life goals to increase awareness and use his music, celebrity and life experience to make a difference in the lives of people living with diabetes.
He is particularly committed to using the opportunity World Diabetes Day (WDD) brings. WDD is a global campaign led by the International Diabetes Federation. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance regarding diabetes and keeps it firmly in the public spotlight.
For further information visit: follow us on twitter @Change_Diabetes or Facebook
Southern African women are the fattest in the world. There I said it! Now please don’t send me any venomous comments! You can channel your frustrations in the general direction of Canada. Some very educated researchers from the Imperial College London and McMaster University in Canada established this fact – yes it’s a fact, not a hypothesis, not something you can shoo away like an irritating dog. It’s a cold hard fact. Just to rub some salt into the wound the researchers went on to say that what is affecting Southern African women is in fact a “Tsunami of obesity that will eventually affect all regions of the world.” The situation is such that if you do lose weight people actually start thinking that you either got dumped, fired or you’re sick. With each kilogram you lose the fervor of the gossip about your health goes up a notch.
I don’t know what’s more sad: the fact we are the fattest women in the world or the fact that I was not in the least surprised by the findings! I dare all the women reading this to look at the world like men do. Next time you go shopping, study the bodies of the women around you. Don’t just see them – look at them. Do this for at least a week and then tell me how many fit and body-beautiful people you saw. How many people did you see who had sexy fit legs, and flat stomachs and toned arms? Now how many people did you see with what are popularly called ‘love handles’ – don’t get me started on that name? How many people do you know personally that are actually thoroughly happy with their bodies? Are you happy with your body?
Shall I now add some icing to the cake? The Canadian researchers are not the only ones getting these unflattering results. An alarming article was published in the Gaurdian.co.uk. It was about a survey Glaxo Smith and Kline (GSK) recently did. According to the survey, “61% of South Africans are overweight, obese or morbidly obese.
Further findings were that 49% of South Africans do not exercise and 71% have never dieted. Most worryingly, 17% of children under nine are overweight. The survey also found a gap between perception and reality: 78% of obese people and 52% of morbidly obese people regard themselves as somewhat healthy or very healthy. Some 42% have no health concerns and only 47% recognise that exercise and physical fitness are critical.”
“Meanwhile, 74% of South Africans think their fellow citizens are overweight and only 34% consider themselves as overweight or obese.” People are in denial and don’t realise how overweight they are,” said Girling. “Unbelievably, when they are overweight they consider themselves as healthy.” Read the full story
The cold, hard, hairless reality is that one in three South Africans will develop Cancer at some point in their lives. This is in the context of what the actual figures might represent if a reliable Cancer and mortality registry existed in South Africa… but it doesn’t says lobbyist Linda Greeff. Projections from the World Health Organisation show that Cancer related deaths worldwide will exceed the combined deaths caused by malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS by 2030. This makes Cancer one of the greatest threats to our society and a heavy future burden on the recently announced NHI healthcare system.
To educate South Africa by exposing the realities of the illness and to grab the ear of government by lobbying to have Cancer placed alongside HIV/AIDS on the political agenda, an independent group of Cancer survivors, educators and lobbyists joined forces under the auspices of Cancer.vive. Read the full story