Campaign against diarrheal disease
31 Jan 2011
During December 2010, the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health put measures in place to reduce the high case load of children with diarrhoea in the province. The department's action plan to combat diarrhoea will continue until April 2011.
During this period, the department has and will implement measures to optimally manage children with diarrhoea. The department in collaboration with the City of Cape Town and community based health organisations has developed an integrated strategy to deal with the seasonal surges of diarrhoea in especially 'hot-spot' areas.
These interventions at primary healthcare facilities include:
- rapid triage of all children on entry into a primary healthcare facility
- well situated and functional oral rehydration therapy (ORT) corners
- skilled clinicians and staff are deployed to manage diarrhoea cases
Steps taken to raise awareness to prevent and manage diarrhoea include:
- Health promotion programmes aimed at preventing diarrhoea and promoting appropriate home treatment for dehydration.
- Mothers, daycare workers and other child care providers are targeted and counselled about causes, prevention and management of diarrhoea as first port of call in the fight against the disease.
- Maintaining hygiene and water quality standards, promoting hand- washing in particular.
- Raising awareness of the danger of dehydration on children and promoting the use of SSS home remedy.
" Too many babies and young children die as a result of diarrhoea. This is very sad, given that there are some basic guidelines to follow when a child suffers from this disease. I urge parents to use the opportunities and the services offered at community health centres. Take your children to these facilities as soon as there are signs of diarrhoea." Minister Theuns Botha said.
Diarrhoea is prevalent during summer when infection spreads quickly through food and water contamination. It is most common in children between 0-5 years of age. If a child is suffering with severe diarrhoea symptoms and given immediate treatment and proper care, she/he can recover completely in a few days.
The disease occurs commonly where there are shared water and sanitation facilities. The hotspots in the Cape Town Metropole where most cases of fatal diarrhoea were reported the previous summer are Gugulethu, Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Delft, Bloekombos, Walacedene, Langa, Du Noon, Imizamo Yethu, Crossroads and Brown's farm.
Tel: 021 483 2904
Cell: 078 519 3636
Tel: 021 483 9881
Source: Western Cape Provincial Government
Issued by: Western Cape Health
31 Jan 2011
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