Zuma’s wife raises diabetes awareness in Bfn

Free State Health Department employees getting ready to tackle the 8km walk towards a healthier lifestyle. PHOTO: PULANE CHOANE

Residents from the Namibia location were elated to have Bongi Ngema-Zuma, one of President Jacob Zuma’s wives, and Free State Health MEC, Butana Komphela, grace them with their presence. Bongi Ngema-Zuma, founder of the Bongi-Ngema Foundation, in a collaborative event with the Free State Department of Health, visited Bloemfontein to raise awareness among the community members on the dangers of diabetes. The activity-packed event kicked off in the morning with an 8km walk from Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein to an open field not too far from the newly erected R300 million Lemo Mall in Bloemside location.
After the walk, members of the surrounding community areas were invited to a host of activities. These activities included testing for HIV/Aids, diabetes, TB and other diseases. The provincial health department also used the opportunity to inform attendees of their other programmes, such as the 90/90/90, a worldwide campaign. This campaign aims to have 90% of all people living with HIV/Aids to know their status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV/Aids infection to receive antiretroviral (ARV) therapy and 90% of all people receiving ARVs to have viral suppression by 2020. While the provincial health department ran promotions on its other ongoing campaigns, the Bongi-Ngema Zuma foundation focused more on diabetes as a treatable disease. The Bongi-Ngema Zuma foundation was founded in 2010 and aims to address issues including health issues for underprivileged communities, with a special focus on youth who may have diabetes. World Diabetes Day was celebrated on 14 November 2016. – Pulane Choane