On a mission to make SA healthier

2014-09-17 00:00

TOBEKA Madiba-Zuma believes her mission is to make South Africa a healthier place.

When The Witness arrived for an exclusive interview yesterday, we were welcomed into the president’s official Durban residence, Dr John L. Dube House in Morningside, by a relaxed Madiba-Zuma.

“For me it is not about the recognition,” she said, referring to the fact she was was honoured recently by UNAids executive director, Michel Sidibé, for her advocacy that other diseases be given the same attention as HIV/Aids.

“The recognition just reaffirms that we are on the right path,” she added.

Madiba-Zuma is President Jacob Zuma’s third wife. She is a patron of the Cancer Association as well as the Tobeka Madiba-Zuma Foundation.

While South Africa was reaping the benefits of the “bold steps taken by our government in dealing with HIV/Aids” and people were living longer, new challenges had presented themselves. “When people live longer they are susceptible to secondary diseases like cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory, heart conditions and hypertension.

“That is why my foundation is strong on prevention. People spend so much money managing diseases instead of ensuring that we prevent the diseases from the onset.”

She said it was not the responsibility of the government but of every individual to lead a healthy lifestyle.

“People need to quit smoking because smoking adds no value to your life … It takes away years of your life. Obesity is also on the rise, which is a contributing factor to these non-communicable diseases.”

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