HEALTH CONSCIOUS: Dr Pumla Sangqu pays tribute to Bongi Ngema-Zuma during the diabetes awareness campaign in Dutywa. Picture: Sithandiwe Velaphi
South Africa’s First Lady Bongi Ngema-Zuma has offered her ongoing support to people with diabetes in the Eastern Cape, including to those diagnosed with the disease in the future.
This is after she visited the Dutywa community on Saturday during the Diabetes Community Awareness campaign, which was organised by
Dutywa-based medical doctor Pumla Sangqu. Ngema-Zuma came to the event on behalf of the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation.
On her arrival Ngema-Zuma participated in a 5km fun walk in Dutywa which involved elders.
“When I received the invitation from Dr Sangqu I did not hesitate because many of my relatives have passed away from diabetes. My mother died in 1997 due to the disease,” she said.
Ngema-Zuma told members of the community that they could live longer with diabetes if they kept following instructions on how to control the disease.
“My mother lived with diabetes for 27 years. It takes effort to control your diabetic life but the most important thing is to exercise, eat green vegetables and reduce cholesterol intake,” she said.
Sangqu said she wanted to create awareness about diabetes after her relatives died from diabetes.
“This year I am celebrating ten years of practising as a medical doctor in Dutywa. It is important for me to give back to the community which has supported me throughout these years,” said Sangqu.
“Rather than medicating people, I believe in rather taking preventative measures to this silent killer called diabetes,” she said.
People who attended the event were given the opportunity of being screened for diabetes free of charge.
Mbhashe Municipality mayor Olga Mfecane said that she would organise the fun walk on a weekly basis with people in Dutywa to make sure that it was not just a one-day event.
Mfecane also participated in the walk. Ngema-Zuma promised to support Mfecane’s initiative.