Mr Thulani Sibeko – Nedbank Group Executive: Marketing, Communications and Corporate Affairs
Mrs Kone Gugushe – NedbankDivisional Executive CSR
Mr Dave Lawson – Nedbank Regional Sales Manager
Ms Julia Koboyankwe – Carletonville Branch Manager
Ms Thabile Zulu – Portfolio Manager
Principal and Teachers of Rooipoort Primary School
Ladies and gentlemen
The African National Congress prioritised school health services long before it came to power in 1994.
We have always been aware that poor health among school going children is also a barrier to learning. In the olden days poor health school-going children contributed to a high number of learners dropping out of school.
The National Department of Health estimates that over 80% of the population depends upon public health care. Children living in rural areas are further disadvantaged by the fact that they have limited access to health care facilities.
If conditions such as poor eye-sight, and poor hearing are not detected earlier, children encounter learning difficulties. That is why the Gauteng Department of Health has decided to embark on a drive to educate the children people of our province on the importance of screening for health conditions in order to avoid complications resulting from poor health.
Integrated School Health Services are a key component of Re-engineering of Primary Health Care services. The aim of this programme is to improve children’s health, reduce health barriers to learning, and to assist learners to stay in school and perform to the best of their abilities. The programme will deliver health screening, on-site services and health education on school premises.
This will allow children access to health promotion and health services during their formative years and thus enhancing the quality of their lives.
If learners require referral to higher levels of care, our facilities are ready to assist them. I want to emphasise that this service we are launching today, will be at no cost to learners!
We also aim to create and increase awareness among the people of Gauteng about available health services and to educate and screen for any other conditions they might be having. Early detection of these conditions leads to early intervention and it is crucial in preventing complications.
As the Gauteng Department of Health, we value our partnership with Nedbank as this will strengthen and develop capacity of existing government structures to deliver health screening services through out the province.
We hope that this launch will serve as an ideal platform to inform the general public, health care professionals, policy makers about the strong link between good health and excellent academic performance.
Community awareness and education, and prevention are the core of primary health care. We hope that this intervention will improve communities’ knowledge of their health status. By extending these services to poor children we will enable our people to live full and healthy lives.
Parents have a responsibility to encourage their children to engage in gainful physical activity especially after school instead of spending hours in front of television sets.
Once more I take this opportunity to tank all our partners for working with us to pull our resources together in order to improve the health of our children most of whom would have been condemned to a lifetime of either poor health due to limited access to health facilities.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS