Heart care gets wheels

08 December 2007


Leg up: Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, flanked by UCT's Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Thandabantu Nhlapo (left) and Western Cape health MEC Pierre Uys, as well as Prof Bongani Mayosi.

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 Bonteheuwel, with intentions to extend similar services 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 that the project would educate the public on the importance of encouraging children to adopt healthy lifestyles and the implementation of prevention programmes.

Heart disease is 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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