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Discovery Health Sports Heroes Walk Against HIV/AIDS

Press release   •   Dec 06, 2012 16:27 GMT

Fun and exhilaration filled the day in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape this past weekend as the annual Discovery Health Sport Heroes Walk Against Aids (DSHWAA) closed the curtain on this year’s event. 


The official launch on November 1st was held in Johannesburg at the offices of South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). SASCOC President, Gideon Sam, called for unity in all sporting codes to ensure the success of these initiatives.  “It’s critical for the sports movement to support programmes that are aimed at safeguarding our people,” said Sam.

The first of the series of 5km walks kicked off on the 19th of November in Lady Grey, covered 900kms through rural areas of the Eastern Cape and ended in Mthatha on the 1st of December, coinciding with World AIDS Day. The event in Mthatha began with a 5km walk to Rotary stadium in Ngangelizwe, and culminated in a tribute to one of the pioneers of the walk, Zithulele Sinqe, who passed away in a car accident late last year.

Discovery Health donated one million rand to be shared among local hospices and NGOs fighting the stigma of AIDS and helping communities live healthier, active lives. DHSHWAA also organised sport coaching clinics along the route which offered coaching by sports heroes such as Eveline Tshabalala, Willie Mtolo, Desiree Ellis, Josiah Thugwana, Vuyani Bungu, Noko Matlou, Amanda Dlamini, Hendriek Mokganyetsi, Gershon Rorich, Sindisiwe Gumede, Veronica Phewa, Zintle Sinqe, Bruce Ramokadi, Kaya Malotana .

Noko Matlou found the journey through the Eastern Cape a thought provoking experience. “It’s really been great, with the coaching clinics we held, meeting young people and most importantly spreading the word about HIV/AIDS.Thanks to Discovery Health for making this journey possible”, added the Banyana Banyana goal scoring machine.

Discovery Health Head of Marketing, Zanele Hadebe, says they are proud to have joined forces with Sport Heroes. “Discovery Health’s core mission is to make people healthier and we understand HIV/AIDS places a heavy burden on the country’s health care systems, but through sport we can develop healthier communities, alleviating the pressure on the local health care systems.” 

Project coordinator of DHSHWAA , Cynthia Tshaka said she was pleased with the commitment from local municipalities and the participation by the communities in the event.  “It’s a touching experience, and it is imperative for people to know that this problem cannot be solved by politicians alone, and we all have to play our part to de-stigmatise HIV /AIDS,” said Tshaka. ” DHSHWAA works closely with  municipalities to identify NGOs for the programme, and we then donate the funds raised, based on their needs.  Follow-up visits are made to ensure the funds are utilised accordingly.”

This year’s development projects included donating sports equipment and school shoes to 7 000 disadvantaged children, and facilitating HIV/AIDS councils in rural Eastern Cape communities. “These communities are the future of South Africa,” said Tshaka. “It is our aim to let people know the power is in their hands.”

The DHSHWAA is endorsed by the South African National Aids Council (Sanac), with the Discovery Walk being Sanac’s flagship project in the sports and entertainment sector.


Discovery information

Discovery is an authorised financial services provider.

Discovery operates in the healthcare cover market in South Africa, the United Kingdom and China; the life assurance market in South Africa and the United Kingdom; as well as the long-term savings and investment market, and short-term insurance market in South Africa.

Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution. It provides individual and corporate wellness initiatives in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and China. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds 3.4 million lives.

Discovery’s core purpose is to make people healthier, and to enhance and protect their lives through financial products that clients need and want.

South African operations

Discovery Health

  • Launched in 1992, Discovery Health isSouth Africa’s largest healthcare funder and manager of medical schemes. It manages 14 medical schemes.
  • This includes the Discovery Health Medical Scheme, which has a 50% share in the open medical schemes market, making it South Africa’s largest open medical scheme.
  • Discovery Health covers more than 2.6 million lives.
  •  The Scheme is the only one in South Africa to enjoy an AA+ rating for its claims paying ability, the highest possible credit rating from international rating agency Global Credit Ratings.
  • The Discovery Health Medical Scheme holds over R7.4 billion in reserves.
  • Discovery Health pioneered consumer-driven healthcare in South Africa with the introduction of innovations like the Medical Savings Account and its wellness programme, Vitality.
  • Discovery Health is continuously innovating new products and tools to enhance the quality of care members receive, including HealthID, an iPad-based application for doctors launched in 2012.
  • Discovery Health was voted the top medical aid brand in the Sunday Times Top Brands survey for both 2010 and 2011.
  • Discovery Health was voted the top healthcare product supplier at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) Awards.
  • In 2012, the PricewaterhouseCoopers fifth biennial Strategic and Emerging Issues in South African Insurance survey rated Discovery Health’s insurance products as the leader in the industry.

Discovery Life

  • Discovery Life was launched in 2000 and is South Africa’s fastest growing major life assurer in the risk market, having captured 25% of the overall risk broker market.
  • It was the first South African insurer to separate risk from investment, leading significant change in the industry.
  • With 355 534 individual policies, the value of its business is now more than R12.4 billion.
  • Discovery Life addresses the problem of underinsurance through its unique integrated operating model and through innovative product development.
  • Discovery Life was voted the top life assurer in the Sunday Times Top Brands survey for both 2010 and 2011.
  • Discovery Life was voted the top risk and life assurance supplier at the 2010 Financial Intermediaries’ Association of Southern Africa (FIA) Awards and the top long-term insurer: recurring savings at the 2011 and 2012 FIA Awards.
  • In 2012, the PricewaterhouseCoopers fifth biennial Strategic and Emerging Issues in South African Insurance survey rated Discovery Life’s life products as the leader in the industry.

Discovery Invest 

  • Discovery Invest was launched in October 2007 and declared its maiden profit in 2010.
  • Discovery Invest combines the breadth and skill of the asset management industry with the existing research and development capabilities of Discovery Life.
  • The company offers consumers a unique and comprehensive product range that addresses the current gaps in the market by offering greater protection against poor investment choices.
  • With 65 573 policies, Discovery Invest now has more than R25 billion in assets under management.
  • Through Discovery Invest’s LISP platform, clients have access to over 329 local and 65 offshore investment funds.
  • Discovery Invest is now the largest writer of endowment policies in South Africa with a 27% market share.
  • In 2011, Discovery Invest received the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) award for best recurring premium business.
 Discovery Insure
  • Discovery Insure was launched in May 2011 and now has 16 246 policyholders.
  • This pioneering product was created by leveraging the behavioural expertise developed in the Vitality programme with the latest telematics technology.
  • The unique Vitalitydrive programme encourages and rewards better driving behaviour and ensuring that vehicles are roadworthy.
  • At the heart of Vitalitydrive is the DQ-Track telematics device that measures and reports crucial aspects of driving behaviour.
  • Vitalitydrive provides up to 50% fuel rewards on clients’ monthly BP fuel spend.
  • Young adults between 18 and 25 can receive further discounts of up to 25% on their motor premiums.
  • Discovery Insure offers comprehensive vehicle, personal and household cover.

Discovery Vitality

  • Launched in 1997, Vitality is Discovery’s science-based wellness programme that underpins each of the Discovery businesses and is an international brand in its own right.
  • It is the largest programme of its kind in the world.
  • Vitality encourages healthy behaviours that reduce long-term healthcare costs by rewarding members for improving their health.
  • There are now more than 1.6 million Vitality members in South Africa.
  • Vitality is accredited by the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.
  • The HealthyLiving™ benefit offers Vitality members up to 25% cash back on HealthyCare™ products at Clicks, HealthyGear™ at adidas and TotalSports stores, and HealthyFood™ items at Pick n Pay.
  • Vitality now has the ability to integrate into over 100 fitness tracking technologies.
  • The Vitality value offering is enhanced by the DiscoveryCard, Discovery’s unique Visa credit card which gives members real cash back.
  • Launched in 2004, the DiscoveryCard is the largest non-bank card in issue, with an 8.9% share of point-of-sales spend. There are now 231 302 primary cardholders.

International operations

United Kingdom

In the UK, Discovery has a 75% shareholding in a joint venture with Prudential plc. Through PruHealth and PruProtect, the company offers healthcare cover and protection products.

PruHealth

  • Launched in 2004, PruHealth is the fourth largest private medical insurer in the UK and the only one that rewards people for leading a healthy lifestyle.
  • PruHealth now covers 554 730 lives.
  • It offers consumer-directed products linked to the Vitality wellness programme.
  • In 2010, Discovery acquired Standard Life Healthcare, thereby leveraging the significant assets of both companies and resulting in greater scale for PruHealth.
  • PruHealth has won several awards for its product innovations.

PruProtect

  • PruProtect, which was launched in 2007, markets consumer-engaged life assurance products in the UK market.
  • The company’s products integrate with those of PruHealth and Vitality to unlock added value and significant premium savings for clients.
  • The company has become a major player in the UK protection market. With 109 929 policies in force, it now covers 132 616 lives.
  • PruProtect has received industry recognition, including awards in four categories at the 2011 Defacto Awards. The company was also named Best Individual Protection Provider in 2011 by Professional Adviser, and walked off with the Innovation Award at the 2011 Protection Review.

United States

The Vitality Group

  • The Vitality Group was launched in 2007 and offers a stand-alone version of the Vitality programme to self-insured, large employer groups and to healthcare carriers.
  • Discovery holds a 75% share in The Vitality Group, 25% being held by Humana Inc.
  • The Vitality Group now covers 293 674 lives.
  • The Vitality Group has entered into a partnership with Wellness and Prevention, a subsidiary of Johnson&Johnson, the world’s premier consumer health company.
  • The Vitality Group recently announced a partnership with ADP, one of the world’s largest providers of payroll and employee benefits administration solutions.
  • In 2011, the group was awarded the C Everett Koop National Health Award for its work with Alcon Laboratories, a highly prestigious award recognising outstanding workplace health improvement programmes. 

HumanaVitality

  • Launched in 2011, HumanaVitality is a joint venture between Humana Inc and Discovery (through The Vitality Group) that makes Vitality available to Humana clients with commercial medical plans.
  • Discovery holds a 25% share in HumanaVitality.
  • Humana is the third largest US insurer, based on revenue. Humana has approximately 11.8 million medical members and 7.7 million specialty members.
  • HumanaVitality now has more than 1.5 million Vitality members.

China

Ping An Health

  • Ping An Health was launched in China in 2010, after Discovery acquired a 20% share in Ping An Health Insurance Co of China Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China.
  • Ping An Insurance is China’s leading insurer and the second largest in the world.
  • The joint venture will see Discovery’s product innovation and consumer-engaged model exported to a potential market of 83 million families.
  • Vitality was deployed in China through Ping An Health in May 2012.

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