The Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi urges parents and caregivers to take all children under the age of five to their nearest clinic to get them immunised against the most common childhood diseases such as Polio. This is part of the Department of Health`s nationwide Integrated Child Health Campaign targeting all children under the age of 5 years to prevent childhood related diseases and deaths.
The Integrated Child Health Campaign which starts on Monday, 31 October and continues until Friday 18 November 2016, is part of the Department`s strategy to prevent and reduce childhood related diseases and mortality.
According to StatsSA, the country has a population of more than five million children under the age of five years, and this Campaign aims to reach at least 95% of this group of children through a variety of services which include measles polio vaccine to children from 0 to 59 months, vitamin A oral drops to children 12-59 months and deworming tablets to children 24-59 months. In addition, children will be screened for malnutrition in selected districts throughout the country.
In order to ensure easy access and maximum coverage, Minister Motsoaledi said “the Department working together with various stakeholders, will set-up health service points at health facilities including the clinics, crèches and pre-schools, while mobile clinics and temporary posts will be also available in places such as shops and churches within our communities”.
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to bring along the child’s Road to Health Booklet (RTHB) when they take their children for health services. Consent forms have been sent to crèches and pre-schools for parents and caregivers to sign and return them to enable the School Health Teams visiting these facilities, to carry provide health services to children.
Dangerous childhood diseases such as measles and polio, with potential fatal complications especially in small children can be effectively prevented. Through collaboration, dedication and hard work by all stakeholders, parents, caregivers and health workers we can protect our children to achieve their full potential.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Health.