Being unemployed is no excuse for not practising a healthy lifestyle.
This was the message KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Peggy Nkonyeni preached during a visit to rural Ntambanana in Empangeni yesterday.
More than 5000 poverty-stricken people - young and old - from several communities around the area, a majority of whom are unemployed, gathered at Nomponjwane Clinic.
The health department's "Healthy Lifestyle" campaign will target rural and poverty-stricken communities. It will encourage members of the public to eat the right food, exercise, prevent contracting curable but deadly diseases such as tuberculosis and diabetes, and practise safe sex.
The provincial department of health is of the opinion that if people live healthy lifestyles, overcrowding at government clinics and hospitals could be reduced.
"We want to warn you about lifestyles and habits that are a big threat to your health because we want the number of people that visit our health care centres unnecessarily to be reduced," she said.
While the event was in progress, the community had an opportunity to have their eyes tested.
Community garden groups were empowered by the MEC who gave them tools to continue their vegetable businesses.