Prevention better than cure as UCT gets mobile clinic

04 December 2007 | Story by Myoliisi Gophe


Getting mobile: Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang cuts the ribbon at the launch of a new mobile heart clinic, flanked by, left, UCT's Prof Bongani Mayosi and, right, Western Cape health MEC Pierre Uys and DVC Prof Thandabantu Nhlapo.

Early detection of heart disease among children is key to prevention.

This was the motivation behind a R3-million Mobile Cardiac Clinic donated to UCT's Department of Medicine and Groote Schuur Hospital on 3 December.

Part of the Heart Health for Kids project, the fully equipped clinic was donated by the Life Healthcare Group. The clinic will service the Vanguard community of Langa and Bontheuwel, with intentions to extend it throughout the Western and Eastern Cape provinces.

Guest speaker, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, explained that cardiovascular diseases contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality, and that much needs to be done to create awareness and prevent heart disease.

"Early recognition will assist with prevention of complications and can lead to reduced morbidity and death," she said.

Tshabalala-Msimang added the project would educate the public on the importance of encouraging children to adopt healthy lifestyles and the implementation of prevention programmes.

Heart diseases are preventable "and we know enough to stop it in its tracks", said Professor Bongani Mayosi, head of the Department of Medicine. "The Cubans have done it, Costa Rica has done it, and in Africa we can do it too."

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