Monday, November 24, 2008

24 November - Health

In today's show, we spoke to Martha Molete – Head of Communication at the Cancer Association of South Africa. We were discussing Skin Cancer. It is reported that skin cancer is the most common cancer in South Africa and it affects all people – those with light skins and dark skins. That is why the Department of Health and the Cancer Association of South Africa are encouraging all South Africans to be SunSmart this summer. Summertime is EXTRA protection time. The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented if people respect the sun and learn how to be SunSmart by following advice from Cancer Association of South Africa. For more information, contact CANSA’s toll free on 0800 22 66 22 or visit That interview was brought to you by the National department of health and funded by the European Union. November is Red Ribbon Month-- 'STOP HIV AND AIDS, RECOMMIT YOURSELF'.

And we also spoke to Professor Mark Nicol – from the UCT’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine. We were talking about Cholera. The recent cholera outbreak in the troubled Zimbabwe has left 294 people dead and up to 2 500 people are being treated for the disease. In South Africa, three people have been treated for the disease in Gauteng hospitals and one in Kwazulu-Natal thus far. Cholera is one of the most rapidly fatal illnesses known, and infected patients may die within three hours if medical treatment is not provided. Professor Nicol explained about the causes and the kind of treatment that is available. Cholera occurs through ingesting food or water that is contaminated with cholera vibrios. The disease progresses from the first liquid stool to shock in 4 to 12 hours, with death following in 18 hours to several days, unless oral rehydration therapy is provided. So if you have diarrhoea, especially severe diarrhoea and think you may have been exposed to cholera, seek treatment right away. For more information contact your nearest health care centre.

We closed off the show with an interview with Julie Martin – from the Western Cape Arthritis Foundation. We were talking about Complementary Therapies. On Thursday the 27th of November is the Complementary Therapies Awareness Day which aims to raise awareness about alternative therapies that can be used along with medical treatment to help the patient feel better. There is growing recognition that complementary therapies can play an important role in our healthcare. Julie explained more the role of complementary therapies. For more information contact the Foundation on 0861 30 30 30 or go to

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