MEC Mekgwe takes health services to informal settlement
31 May 2012
This morning, Gauteng Health MEC, Ntombi Mekgwe joined by health workers embarked on a door-to-door campaign immunising people against influenza, children against pneumonia and educating the community of Motsoaledi Informal Settlement, Soweto, about safe use of fire and candles this winter.
Other services that were taken by the MEC and her team were testing for chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, weight and HIV Counselling and Testing.
This was one of the initiatives to take healthcare services to communities with an aim of promoting healthy lifestyles and prevention of injury and unnatural deaths.
The stepping up of the children’s immunisation campaign is another effort to meet one of the millennium development goals which is reducing infant mortality. Other efforts by the department to ensure that this goal is realised are: Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission of HIV multi-dose therapy, Immunisation, whose coverage currently stands above 95%; Nutrition, through crèche feeding - children receiving nutritional supplements and Vitamin A, Growth monitoring and Development; Integrated Management of Child hood Illnesses; Kangaroo Mother Care; and Perinatal Problem Identification Programme.
During this campaign, children and adults who are vulnerable to influenza such as people over the age of 65, pregnant women, persons with underlying medical conditions such as cardiac, pulmonary, chronic renal, diabetes and HIV and AIDS; children aged six months to six years, residents of old age homes and children aged between six months and 18 years in long term aspirin therapy were be traced and immunised.
In addition to influenza, healthy children between 18 and 35 months as well as unhealthy children with underlying medical conditions from 18 months to six years also received Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV).
This vaccine is used to protect infants against disease such as pneumonia, otitis media and meningococcal diseases.
This campaign which has seen more than 170 000 children being immunised against influenza and pneumonia has been conducted in communities and health facilities since February this year.
Pneumonia is a common illness and a major cause of death among children. The campaign aims at reducing the number of children dying from this disease. The incidence of pneumonia in children under the age of five has shown a decrease in Gauteng from 60.2 per 1000 in 2009 to 57.3 per 1 000 in 2011.
Parents and care givers are urged to take children to their nearest clinics to be vaccinated.
Cell: 082 551 9892
Issued by: Gauteng Health
31 May 2012
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