February Health Focus

We highlight the health and awareness days in February
By Tamlyn Vincent

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National Reproductive Health Month
During February, the focus is on reproductive health, which implies a safe and responsible sex life along with the choice for couples to have a baby, if and when they choose to. But this also means that people have the right to safe and effective methods of fertility regulation, and access to healthcare services for pregnancy and childbirth.
4 February
World Cancer Day
On this day, the world unites in the fight against cancer. The aim is to help save lives through education and awareness of the disease, while encouraging everyone, including governments, to take action. International Childhood Cancer Day is held on 15 February. The 14th national Cansa Shavathon takes place at shopping centres on 25 February and at workplaces and organisations from 27 February to 3 March.
7–14 February
Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a common type of birth defect. This week raises awareness around this condition, in the hope that more children suffering from congenital heart disease can be diagnosed and treated early.
7–14 February
National Pregnancy Awareness Week
This week focuses on pregnancy education, ensuring expectant moths have the knowledge they need to make the best health decisions for them and their babies.
13 February 2017
International Epilepsy Day
The aim of this day is to highlight the challenges faced by people with epilepsy, and their families. Epilepsy is a disorder marked by recurring, unprovoked seizures.
  • For more info: epilepsy.org
  • Epilepsy South Africa: 021 556 3753, 021 903 1479, info@epilepsy.org.za or epilepsy.org.za
14–21 February
Teen Suicide Prevention Week
In South Africa, teen suicide is becoming more common and there is a significant link between suicide and depression.
  • The South African Depression and Anxiety Group: 011 234 4837, 0800 20 50 26 or sadag.org
  • Suicide Crisis Line: 0800 567 567 or SMS 31393
22 February
National Healthy Lifestyle Awareness Day
South Africans are encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle, through good nutrition and regular physical activity, while avoiding risk factors such as obesity and smoking. February is also Healthy Lifestyle Awareness Month.
28 February
Rare Disease Day
The day is held internationally, to raise awareness around rare diseases. Rare diseases, by definition, only affect a small number of people, but those who are affected do share a common struggle. For more info: rarediseaseday.org

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