SA: Boost for Gauteng school health programme

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The Gauteng school health programme has received a boost with the donation of a mobile clinic that will be used by health workers to screen children for conditions that compromise their learning.

Last year, through this programme, the department screened over 50 000 learners from different schools for a range of health conditions.

The department’s 61 school health teams, which are made up of a professional nurse and an enrolled nurse and/or an assistant nurse, screened 57 095 learners. Of these learners, 6 347 were referred to local clinics and hospitals for specialist care and further investigation.

Prevalent cases that were identified were oral health, eye care, hearing difficulties, speech and suspected TB.

During the visits, immunisation is also one of the main services that are given to children. Over and above the immunisation, the children are also assisted with psychosocial support. Follow-up visits are also made.

The generous mobile clinic donation by Nedbank will help the department reach more children.

“This is one of the department’s initiatives to strengthen primary healthcare and to ensure that preventable health factors that undermine the children’s learning process are eliminated.

“We are indeed determined and committed to playing our part in ensuring that children stay healthy and do not drop out of school,” said Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo.

“We urged parents to support their kids by encouraging them to study after school, as that is another important factor in order for them to obtain good results.

“It is also important to cook healthy meals for them and encourage them to participate in sporting activities so they can be strong and healthy,” the MEC added.