About iChange for health

About iChange for health

Statistics from StatsSA and the WHO Global Status Report show that compared to Brazil, Russia, India and China, South African women have the highest incidence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and only Russian men rank higher than South African men for the same conditions.

Chronic lifestyle related illnesses are rapidly increasing because of sedentary lifestyles, poor diet, physical inactivity and other factors. Research done by the Food and Agriculture Organisation also show:

  • Nearly 50% of men aged 25 to 34 and 60% of women in the same category can be described as physically inactive.
  • A third of men and more than two-thirds of women have a BMI of over 25, making them severely overweight.
  • One in five men and one in four women suffer from hypertension at this relatively young age.

The purpose of the iChange4Health is to help South Africans change their bad habits and put new, healthier ones in their place. Many people want to live healthier lives and reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases of lifestyle but are unsure how to start. Others are unaware of the unhealthy behaviours in their lives.

The project is a joint initiative of the Chronic Disease Initiative for Africa (CDIA) and Pharma Dynamics, South Africa’s largest supplier of cardiovascular medication in the country. Pharma Dynamics decided to launch iChange4Health after the success of the Cooking from the Heartrecipe book launches in 2012, which supplied free heart-friendly alternatives for favourite South African recipes.

iChange4Health has a series of helpful motivational booklets that provide information, guidance and tips regarding lifestyle changes and also showcase other people who have broken their unhealthy habits.

An iChange4Health manual (and training) is also available for doctors and other HCPs and offers evidence based guidelines on how to establish a non-threatening, supportive environment for the patient to discuss behavioural issues.

The long-term aim of iChange4Health is a reduction in the burden of chronic disease on South Africa.