Promoting healthy lifestyles

Nyaniso Mqeketo from Metropolitan NPO at the Joe Slovo community hall.

The Matrix substance abuse rehabilitation programme, run by the City of Cape Town, held an awareness day at the Joe Slovo community centre in Freedom Way, last Friday.

Several organisations set up tables to promote healthy lifestyles and sexual health.

Ward 4 councillor Dr Joy McCarthy, who opened the programme, stressed that substance abuse could be cured.

She also warned about the dangers of human trafficking. “It is happening in your neighbourhood. Girls are coming from the Northern Cape on the pretext that there are jobs waiting for them in Cape Town. When they get here, they are trapped into human trafficking.”

She urged youngsters to get the TrackMe App so parents could be aware of their children’s whereabouts.

She also encouraged people to make use of the free blood tests which were available at the event.

Letitia Bosch from the Matrix clinic at Albow Gardens said the programme was open to people 18 years and older.

“You don’t need an appointment. You don’t need to phone. Even if you are a family member and the person who needs help is not with you, go and speak to someone at the clinic,” said Ms Bosch.

Meanwhile, Lillian Smith from the City’s health office in Maitland said it was important for women to go for regular check-ups.

“We tend to forget ourselves sometimes. We forget we need to get our breasts examined and our pap smears done. Pap smears are done to detect cancer. Cancer is not only for older people anymore. If you have money and you are on medical aid, you don’t need to wait every 10 years to have one done,” said Ms Smith.

She said it was best to examine one’s breast at the same time every month.

“During examinations, remember to go right up to the arm pit because there is a lot of breast tissue there as well,” she said.

* For more information about the Matrix clinic, call 021 510 6326.