23 April 2015

Stamps on Healthy Living



Date of Issue : 2 April 2015

South Africa Post has released a series of stamps dedicated to healthy living and celebrating the prestigious (23rd International) 8th World Congress of Nephrology (WCN 2015), which took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 3 to 7 April 2015. The issue consisting of five stamps was put into circulation on the 2d of April.

Nephrology is a branch of medical science that deals with the study of the normal working of the kidneys, as well as its diseases. The kidneys are vital for a healthy life. Their complex network of blood vessels and intricate network of tubes and tubules cleanse the blood of waste products and excess water. The kidneys maintain the fluid, electrolytes, and acid-base regulation that are altered by several disease conditions, as well as drugs and toxins.

The biennial World Congresses of Nephrology – an initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) – are premiere educational events in nephrology that rotate between continents and are organised in collaboration with local and regional nephrology societies. The congress is aimed at the international nephrology community, as well as other healthcare professionals involved in multidisciplinary nephrology care; thus enabling professionals from all parts of the world to exchange views on a wide variety of topics affecting nephrology and those suffering from kidney disease around the world.

WCN 2015 was hosted by the South African Renal Society in partnership with the African Association of Nephrology, and the Renal Care Society of South Africa. By bringing together practicing physicians, academics, scientists, international health authorities and clinical researchers, the congress offered a global forum for a free exchange of science and medical knowledge and strategies.

The stamps

Designed by Marli Joubert, the stamps have a red and blue colour scheme inspired by diagrams showing oxygenated blood (red) and un-oxygenated blood (blue). The stamps draw attention to steps that can be taken to lower the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). These include:

Regular medical check-ups:

In most cases, CKD cannot be completely prevented, but early detection can help you to manage the disease. If you have a long-term condition, such as diabetes, that could potentially cause CKD, it is important to manage it carefully. Follow the advice of your doctor and keep all appointments relating to your condition. People with diabetes are advised to have their kidney function tested every year.

Regular exercise:

Exercise helps to lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of other diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. This in turn reduces the risk of developing CKD, while helping to maintain a healthy weight. At least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, such as cycling or fast walking, is recommended.

A healthy diet:

Eating a balanced diet will also help to prevent conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, overweight and heart disease, which will reduce the risk of CKD. A balanced diet includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (five portions a day), fish, raw nuts and whole grains, as well as drinking plenty of water, limiting your salt and sugar intake and avoiding unsaturated fats.

Stop smoking:

Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks or strokes, and it can increase the likelihood that any existing kidney problems will get worse. If you stop smoking, you will improve your general health and reduce your risk of developing other serious conditions, such as lung cancer and emphysema.

Limit alcohol intake:

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can cause a rise in blood pressure as well as in the cholesterol levels in the blood. Following the recommended alcohol consumption limits is the best way to reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and the risk of CKD. Recommended limits for alcohol intake are three to four units of alcohol a day for men, and two to three units of alcohol a day for women.

Sports and Health stamps from Hong Kong


Date of Issue 23 April 2015

Hong Kong released a special set of stamps dedicated to sports and promoting healthy lifestyle. The issue consists of six stamps and is to be put into circulation on the 23d of April.

Exercise is an excellent way to relieve stress in a fast-paced city like Hong Kong. A moderate workout a day helps strengthen physical fitness and soothe one’s nerves, and is therefore tremendously beneficial to the body and mind.

The Government endeavours to implement a sport-for-all policy. In addition to a diverse range of sports-related activities launched in local communities, various large-scale sports events have been organised to encourage citizens to participate more in sports. At the same time, the brilliant achievements of Hong Kong athletes in international competitions are not only Hong Kong’s pride, but have also aroused greater interest by citizens in local sports development.

To promote the public’s participation in sports and to advocate a sporting culture, an online voting exercise, “My Favourite Sports”, was held from February to March 2014, to invite the public to vote for their favourite sports. The top six choices were then adopted in the present set of special stamps on “Sports in Hong Kong”.

The six stamps depict six different sports, namely, cycling ($1.70), table tennis ($2.20), football ($2.90), athletics ($3.10), badminton ($3.70) and swimming ($5). Each stamp presents a bird’s eye view of the arena specially designed for each of the six sports, with its linear features highlighted to create an innovative and interesting visual effect.

Painted in different colours, the sports arenas depicted on the six stamps make a brightly-hued and vivid scene when put together. The silhouettes on the stamps outline the different actions of the athletes in playing their sports. The fine line across each stamp not only tracks the movement, but also denotes breakthroughs and the pursuit of excellence.

To echo the sports-related theme, Hongkong Post has made this its first-ever set of thermochromically printed stamps. As the silhouettes of the athletes are printed in thermochromic ink, their colours vary with a change in temperature. This highly distinctive feature adds vibrance and energy to the stamps in this issue.

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