Category: <span>Municipal Health</span>

9 May 2022 Media Release: Several Karoo towns recently visited to create awareness about municipal health

Media Release:  Several Karoo towns recently visited to create awareness about municipal health

For Immediate Release
9 May 2022

Environmental Pollution Control and Prevention of Communicable Diseases forms part of the key performance areas of the Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM). Recent educational visits to Oudtshoorn, Dysselsdorp and Calitzdorp Clinics and surroundings focused on environmental factors affecting human health and wellbeing.

These health & hygiene education & awareness sessions aimed to educate and inform the target audiences on how to take responsibility for their own health, as prevention is better than cure. A total of 137 homes were reached during the health education sessions.

Education material was communicated and distributed to audiences during the sessions, and focuses on the following aspects:

  • Indoor Air Quality;
  • Risk related to tobacco smoking;
  • Tuberculosis prevention;
  • Treatment of household contaminated water;
  • Treatment of diarrhea;
  • Illegal dumping health risks;
  • Food safety and hygiene; and
  • Proper hand-wash techniques.

5 May 2022 Media Release: Have you washed your hands today?

Media Release: Have you washed your hands today?

For Immediate Release
5 May 2022

That is a good question to ask yourself and your loved ones to remind us all of the importance of clean hands.

COVID-19 has once again shown us the importance of hand hygiene as a non-pharmaceutical intervention of preventing the spread of germs.

Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory, diarrheal and a range of other infections from one person to the next.

World Hand Hygiene Day is commemorated annually on 5 May. The slogan this year is: Unite for safety: clean your hands.

The World Health Organization explains that when a health facility’s ‘quality and safety climate or culture’ values hand hygiene and infection prevention and control (IPC), this results in both patients and health workers feeling protected and cared for.

Western Cape Government Health and Wellness facilities prioritise hygiene at all levels through strict IPC policies. Hand hygiene is also promoted in communities during outreaches and visits to crèches and schools.

Nathan Jacobs works as environmental health practitioner for Western Cape Government Health and Wellness, and experiences first-hand the impact of hand hygiene . ‘Hand hygiene is important as a non-pharmaceutical intervention to prevent the spread of disease. I see first-hand what important role hand hygiene has is in our places of work, schools and public spaces. We can prevent the spread of many diseases by keeping our hands clean.’

Washing hands with normal soap and running water works best. If access to a shared tap is available, the following method can be used:  

  • Make a hole in the lid of an empty plastic bottle
  • Carefully fill the bottle with water
  • Screw on the cap with a hole in it
  • Wet hands with a little bit of water
  • Apply soap and rub all over your hands to create a foam/lather
  • Use the remaining water to rinse through the hole in the lid of the bottle.

Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:  

  • Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands
  • Touch a contaminated surface or objects
  • Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into your hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects.

For more information visit: www.westerncape.gov.za

Caption: Nathan encourages everyone to wash their hands regularly.

END

Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health

Tel: 044 813 1831
Email: Nadia.Ferreira@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za

31 March 2022 Media Release: GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners conduct Door-to-Door Campaign on World TB Day

GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners conducts Door-to-Door Campaign on World TB Day

For immediate release
31 March 2022

In light of World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2022 with the theme “Invest to End TB – Save Lives” that was commemorated on 24 March 2022 , Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) in collaboration with Western Cape Department of Health, conducted a door-to-door campaign in George.

Garden Route District Municipality’s Environmental Health Practitioners (from left) are Lusizo Khwetshube, Khanyisa Shoto, Yonwaba Sifo (middle), Sive Mkuta (2nd, right) and Ivy Mamegwa (right) with Patience Shipalane (3rd, left) and Loretta Roelfse (3rd, right) from the Western Cape Department of Health during the door-to-door campaign.

Amongst others, awareness was raised on the health impacts of indoor and ambient air quality pollution which contribute significantly to the increase in health risks such as respiratory illnesses i.e. Bronchitis, TB, etc. Areas such as Rosedale, Sea-View, and surrounding communities of the Pacaltsdorp informal settlements were visited. Approximately 500 pamphlets were distributed during the campaign.

Municipal Health Services as defined in the National Health Act, 2003 includes the surveillance and prevention of these communicable diseases. EHPs have a statutory obligation to protect the health of the present and future generations as enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium Tuberculosis), which most often affect the lungs. TB is curable and preventable, but it can be spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they push the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.

Environmental Health Practitioners spotted at the Rosedale community in Pacaltsdorp (George) educating the public on indoor, ambient air pollution and Tuberculosis.

Eight countries account for two-thirds of the new TB cases around the world including India, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and South Africa.

Common symptoms of TB include:

  • Prolonged Cough
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Night sweats

For any further information relating to the surveillance and prevention of communicable diseases, please contact the GRDM Municipal Services Units at the respective Regional offices of the GRDM and “Let us invest in saving lives”.

Main Office:
Johan Compion
Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services
E-mail: info@gardenroute.gov.za
Tel: 044 803 1300

George (Outeniqua):
Emmy Douglas (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: 044 803 1501
Fax: 044 803 1566
Address: Mission Street, Industrial Area, George

George (Wilderness):
Pieter Raath (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: 044 803 1501
Fax: 044 803 1566
Address: Mission Street, Industrial Area, George

Mossel Bay:
Sam Bendle (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel:  044 693 0006
Address C/O Sampson & Marling Street, Ext 23, Mossel Bay

Klein Karoo
Desmond Paulse (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: 044 272 2241
Cell: 083 678 6530
Address: 94 St John Street, Oudtshoorn

Knysna
James McCarthy (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: 044 382 7214
Cell: 082 805 9417
Address: 26A Queen Street, Knysna

Bitou (Plettenberg Bay)
Gawie Vos (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: 044 5011600
Address: 4 Virginia Street, Plettenberg Bay, 6600

Hessequa:
Haemish Herwels (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: 028 713 2438
Cell: 083 678 6545
Address: 23 Michell Street, Riversdale, 6670

Kannaland:
George Hendriksz (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: +27(0)44 272 2241
Cell: +27(0)82 907 3492
Address: 15 Regent Street, Oudtshoorn

Feature Image: Garden Route District Municipality’s Environmental Health Practitioners (from left) are: Khanyisa Shoto, Lusizo Khwetshube, Yonwaba Sifo, Sive Mkuta, and Ivy Mamegwa shortly before the door-to-door campaign commenced.

ENDS

30 March 2022 MEDIA RELEASE: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS ENSURING HYGIENE STANDARDS ARE MAINTAINED AT KKNK AND OTHER FESTIVALS

MEDIA RELEASE: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS ENSURING HYGIENE STANDARDS ARE MAINTAINED AT KKNK AND OTHER FESTIVALS

For Immediate Release
30 March 2022

In terms of the Municipal Systems Act of 2000, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Municipal Health Services is one of the primary functions of a district municipality. Section 1 of the National Health Act, 2003 (Act 61 of 2003), defines municipal health services as the following key performance areas:

  • Disposal of the Dead.
  • Environmental Pollution Control.
  • Food Control.
  • Health Surveillance of Premises.
  • Surveillance and Prevention of Communicable Diseases.
  • Vector Control / Monitoring.
  • Waste Management.
  • Water Quality Monitoring.
  • Chemical Safety

The Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK)

This National Arts festival takes place from Tuesday 29 March until Sunday 3 April 2022 in Oudtshoorn.

During the Festival, EHPs of GRDM conduct routine inspections and monitor all environmental health aspects, such as food stalls, solid waste storage- and removal, wastewater disposal, public toilet facilities, camping sites, etc.

EHPs are doing daily inspections at the different events and premises at the KKNK. They will ensure that all food preparation activities conform to hygienic requirements and that waste-water, solid waste and sanitation facilities are sufficient. The EHP officials will also form part of the daily KKNK Joint Operation Centre (JOC) meetings to address all health-related matters.

On the first day of the KKNK, EHPs inspected all food stalls for compliance with Regulation 638 of 22 June 2018, Section 3(1) and determine if the owner has a Certificate of Acceptability.

FOOD STALLS

During festivals, food control is a mandatory regulation that enforces consumer protection. It ensures that food is safe and wholesome for consumption during preparation, handling, storage, processing, and distribution. Furthermore, that food conforms to the quality and safety requirements as prescribed by R146 of 1 March 2010 and is labelled correctly.

EHPs ensure that food is kept at safe temperatures; food handlers wear proper protective clothing; food stalls are kept clean and hygienic, and no animals except guide dogs are allowed in food stalls. Also, food should be protected from contamination by using good manufacturing practices and the best methods available.  EHPs also take food samples to ensure the food is safe.

GRDM already had discussions with the KKNK management regarding the issuing of Certificates of Acceptance (COA). To be approved for a food stall for the duration of the KKNK, a COA is required from the GRDM Municipal Health Office. Food stall owners were provided with a copy of the hygienic guidelines to ensure they knew the hygienic and health regulations for selling food at KKNK. Environmental Health Practitioners have provided food hygiene education and training to all food handlers and will do this going forward.

PUBLIC TOILET FACILITIES

KKNK will provide adequate toilet facilities and will maintain and clean the sanitation facilities. The EHPs will monitor public toilets daily and report unhygienic conditions to the KKNK office.  Additionally, EHP will ensure that restaurants inside and outside the festival area provide access to toilets and handwashing facilities.

WASTE WATER AND SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT

The KKNK and Oudtshoorn Municipality are responsible for providing wastewater collection facilities, while the EHPs monitor the storage and disposal of solid waste. To prevent health nuisances, it is imperative that waste water and refuse bins are removed quickly.

ACCOMMODATION FACILITIES/CAMPING SITES

GRDM EHPs carried out inspections at accommodation facilities and guest houses before the commencement of the KKNK. They ensure that all guest houses that provide food to the public comply with R638 of 2018 and must have a COA for food premises

Minimum requirements regarding refuse removal, water provision, sanitation, and regular cleaning of camping sites were compiled in the past, and EHPs will regularly monitor facilities at camping sites.

SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES: TOBACCO CONTROL ACT

Premises, where meals are provided for consumption in a room, building, or tent, will be monitored. As stipulated in Regulation 975 notice relating to Smoking of Tobacco Products in Public Places, the rules regarding smoking in public places must be adhered to.

Smoking areas must conform to national legislation.  Event coordinators must provide guests access to a designated smoking area.  Smoking in or near food stalls is prohibited.

After the festival, the EHPs participate in debriefing sessions to discuss the best practices and challenges identified.

For any further information, please contact GRDM Klein Karoo Region Municipal Health Services:

Mr. Desmond Paulse

Chief: Municipal Health (Klein Karoo)

Tel: 044 272 2241

Cell: 083 678 6530

Address: 94 St John Street, Oudtshoorn

 Mr. Johan Compion

Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services

E-mail: johan@gardenroute.gov.za

Tel: 044 803 1300

 

22 February 2022 Media Statement: Garden Route Municipalities not affected by Typhoid Fever

Media Statement: Garden Route Municipalities not affected by Typhoid Fever

For Immediate Release
22 February 2022

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Executive Manager, Community Services, Clive Africa, also confirms that there are no cases of Typhoid Fever in the Garden Route.

Typhoid fever also known as enteric fever is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body, affecting many organs. Typhoid Fever is caused by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi, related to the bacteria that cause salmonella food poisoning. It is highly contagious and an infected person can pass the bacteria through contaminated faeces. If someone else eats food or drinks water that has been contaminated they can become infected with the bacteria and develop typhoid fever.

Typhoid fever is most common in communities that have poor sanitation and limited access to clean water.

Municipal health services as defined in the National Health Act, 2003 do monthly water sampling of all municipal water sources in the Garden Region and potable water in the region is still safe for human consumption. Cases of typhoid in the Western Cape have also not been linked to municipal water sources. Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) form part of the Garden Route District Response Team and will investigate any suspected cases.

SYMPTOMS
Typhoid fever symptoms include weakness, stomach pain, headache, diarrhoea or constipation, cough and loss of appetite. Some people with typhoid fever develop a rash of flat, rose-coloured spots.

PREVENTION

  • Proper hand hygiene, which includes thorough washing of hands with water and soap.
  • After using the bathroom/toilette, and before preparing or eating a meal.
  • After handling nappies.
  • Maintain good hygiene in the kitchen when you are handling and preparing a meal.
  • Ensure that household water from a safe source.
  • Safe disposal of human faeces and nappies.

Environmental Health Practitioners provide health and hygiene training on a monthly basis at crèche and schools in the district to illustrate and practice of proper handwashing techniques as well as the importance thereof.

For any further information, please contact us at the respective Regional offices within the Garden Route District Municipality:

Johan Compion
GRDM Manager:
Municipal Health & Environmental Services
E-mail: info@gardenroute.gov.za
Tel: 044 803 1300

Mosselbay:
Sam Bendle
Chief: Municipal Health (Mossel Bay),
Tel:  044 693 0006
Address C/O Sampson & Marling Street, Ext 23, Mossel Bay.

George Outeniqua:
Emmy Douglas
Chief: Municipal Health (Outeniqua)
Tel: 044 803 1501
Address: Mission Street, Industrial Area, George, 6530

George Wilderness:
Pieter Raath
Chief: Wilderness (George)
Tel: 044 803 1501
Address: Mission Street, Industrial Area, George

Klein Karoo
Desmond Paulse
Chief: Municipal Health (Klein Karoo)
Tel: 044 272 2241
Cell: 083 678 6530
Address: 94 St John Street, Oudtshoorn

Knysna
James McCarthy
Chief: Knysna
Tel: 044 382 7214
Cell: 082 805 9417
Address: 26A Queen Street, Knysna

Bitou
Gawie Vos
Chief: Bitou
Tel: 044 501 1600
Cell: 083 557 1522
Address: 4 Virginia Street, Plettenberg Bay

Hessequa
Haemish Herwels
Chief: Hessequa
Tel: 028 713 2438
Cell: 083 678 6545
Address: 23 Michell Street, Riversdale, 6670

Kanaland
George Hendriksz
Chief: Kannaland
Tel: 044 272 2241
Cell: 082 907 3492
Address: 15 Regent Street, Oudtshoorn

ENDS

28 January 2021 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality’s role in Heavy Motor Vehicle & Hazardous Materials Incidents

On Thursday, 27 January 2022, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Fire Services responded to a heavy vehicle incident on the N2 highway. The scene involved a truck that lost control and overturned, resulting in oil leaking from it. This posed a high risk of oil spreading towards a close-by drain that leads to the Maalgate River.

The GRDM team was requested to assist George Municipality Fire and Rescue Services who initially responded to the incident.

Deon Stoffels, Acting Fire Chief Officer, said:  “After preventing the oil from spreading further the crew ensured that no fire ignited”.

The GRDM firefighters also restored the road to its former standards and ensured a safe road surface.

Legislation; i.e. The National Environmental Management Act, 107 of 1998 (NEMA) guides and its purpose is among other, to provide for co-operative environmental governance. This requires those responding to incidents, to establish principles for decision making on matters affecting the environment. Of particular importance is Section 30 for the control of incidents involving hazardous substances that could have a detrimental impact on the environment. This is a measure that gives effect to the provisions of Section 24 of the Constitution, regarding the protection of the environment.

Did you know?

Accident scenes are difficult to ignore and are in numerous cases a disturbance to motorists passing the scene. Many accident scenes are taking place near other accident scenes, merely because motorists were not paying attention to the road ahead and only focused on the emergency personnel attending to the accident scene. Passing motorists are therefore advised to adhere to the following:

  1. Observe changes in the traffic pattern around a given accident scene.
  2. Look for emergency personnel directing traffic.
  3. When directed to stop, do so immediately.
  4. Proceed through the scene slowly.
  5. Look for signs indicating what you should do.
  6. Be vigilant of personnel walking on the scene.
  7. Be vigilant of emergency vehicles arriving and exiting the accident scene.
  8. Do not disregard the instructions of emergency personnel.
  9. Remain calm and avoid stepping out of your vehicle.
  10. Keep doors and windows closed, to avoid inhaling in the fumes.
  11. Avoid smoking or attempting to light a cigarette or disposing of flammable goods (deodorant, acetone, paint, methanol, etc.).

ENDS

28 January 2022 Media Release: New District Health Council introduced

Media Release: New District Health Council introduced

For Immediate Release
28 January 2022

The newly appointed district health council for the Garden Route District was introduced by the Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, on 24 January 2022.

‘Community involvement in health is a crucial part of a good health system functioning. It is also an integral part of Primary Health Care, that is why I am committed to meaningful engagement with communities and civil society. This is critical because it gives the district mayors and councillors representing local municipalities an opportunity to interrogate our Annual District Health Plan checking to see whether their local health priorities are considered,’ said Minister Mbombo.

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen, together with councillors reviewed the Annual District Health Plan to confirm whether their local priorities have been considered.

‘This collective approach to health in the Garden Route works because it raises the bar on health service standards,’ said Ald. Booysen. ‘Over the years, GRDM also extended its expert advice about municipal health services and will continue doing so in future.’

Councils represent their respective districts and ensure the coordination of health services with their respective municipalities. The appointment of the district health council is in accordance with the National Health Act, 2003 (Act 61 of 2003) which stipulates the establishment of district health councils.

A district health council consists of:

  • a person appointed by the provincial minister to represent her
  • a member of the relevant district council, who will also be the chair
  • a member of the council of each local municipality nominated by the member of the relevant council
  • not more than five other persons, appointed by the provincial minister, after consultation with the district council.

Members of the council are:

  • Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen
  • Garden Route District Director: Mr Zee Brickles
  • Cllr Melvin Roelfse (George)
  • Cllr Betsi Van Noordwyk (Hessequa)
  • Cllr Mavis Busakhwe (Bitou)
  • Cllr Anna Janse van Rensburg (Mossel Bay)
  • Cllr Joey R Canary (Oudtshoorn)
  • Ms Rita Kayster (District Council on Aids and TB)
  • Knysna (outstanding)
  • Kannaland (outstanding)

Members of the public are requested to make use of the channels available to them, such as the district health council, to voice any matters that might need attention.

Caption:

From left: Ms Rita Kayster ( District Council on Aids and TB), Cllr Melvin Roelfse (George), Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen, Cllr Betsi Van Noordwyk (Hessequa), Western Cape Provincial Health Minister Nomafrench Mbombo, Cllr Mavis Busakhwe (Bitou), Cllr Ruiters representing Mossel Bay in the absence of cllr Janse van Rensburg, Mr Zee Brickles(district director: Garden Route and Central Karoo) and Simo Sithandathu(Provincial Council on Aids and TB Civil Society representative).

END

Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 044 813 1831
Email: Nadia.Ferreira@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za

14 January 2022 Media Release: Garden Route Air Quality remains tops

Media Release: Garden Route Air Quality remains tops

For Immediate Release
14 January 2022

“Humankind faces its greatest existential threat in the form of climate change” – President Cyril Ramaphosa, 2020 State of the Nation Address

Climate change refers to long-term changes in weather patterns and temperatures. Such shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. Climate change has been primarily driven by human activities since the 1800s, particularly through the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. Fossil fuel combustion produces greenhouse gas emissions that act like a blanket around the Earth, trapping the sun’s heat and raising temperatures.

Climate change and air quality are closely related. Some of these emissions are not only of concern, but they often come from the same sources. Furthermore, air pollution and climate change interact in complex ways in the atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) alter the energy balance between the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface, altering the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

Examples of developments that will result in the release of GHG`s include:

  • Electricity generation facilities that utilize fossil fuels.
  • Industrial developments that contribute to atmospheric emissions.
  • The extraction and production of fossil fuels.
  • The development and related operations of feedlots.
  • Clearing of vegetation and where it is replaced by built infrastructure such as roads, airports, and urban development.
  • Waste disposal facilities.
  • Treatment of waste through burn technologies.

In October 2011, the Government of South Africa published the National Climate Change Response White Paper, which details the Government’s vision for an effective response to climate change and a just transition to a climate-resilient, lower-carbon economy and society. The Minister has promulgated the National GHG Reporting Regulations. The purpose of these Regulations is to introduce a single national reporting system for the transparent reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, which will primarily be used to: Inform policy formulation, implementation and legislation.

“The Garden Route District Municipality recognises climate change as a threat to the environment, its residents, and its future development,” says Dr Johann Schoeman, District Manager: Air Quality. Böckmann (2015) states that measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate carbon emissions or enhance greenhouse gas sinks (mitigation). However, due to lag times in the climate and biophysical systems, the positive impacts of past and current mitigation will only be noticeable in the next 25 years (Jiri, 2016). In the meantime, adaptation is seen as an inevitable and necessary response to the changes projected in the district. Garden Route District Municipality has therefore prioritised the development of a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Climate Change Response Plan.

The Air Quality status of the Garden Route

Air Quality in the Garden route is managed through its 3rd generation Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP). Our Air Quality vision is: To have air quality worthy of the name “The Garden Route”

“The GRDM is one of the front-running municipalities with regards to Air Quality management in South Africa,” said Schoeman.

Air pollution is an increasing risk, and it is estimated that more than 7 million people die worldwide because of air pollution. it is due to this risk that the GRDM for the last 6 years intensified its air pollution awareness through its GRDM Clean Fires campaign, focussing on air pollution awareness at the primary school level.

The Garden Route is a fast-developing zone with people all over South Africa migrating to the district. This will ultimately also lead to increased industrial activity and more pressure on the environment. Within the Western Cape Provincial contexts, GRDM issued 21% of the total number of Atmospheric Emission Licences within the Western Cape, with only the City of Cape town issuing more licences than the GRDM.

Garden Routers is fortunate to have three Provincial Air Quality monitoring stations, which are located strategically within the district. Their placement is based on potential hazardous sources of pollution. These stations are complemented by monitoring stations operated by the industry as well as air quality monitoring activities done by the Garden route district municipality. The George station is also reporting live to the South-African Air Quality Information System (SAQIS).

In general, the pollution measured at these stations are in compliance with the Ambient Air Quality standards of South Africa and the Garden route can still be regarded as a district with very good air quality. The public can access the data on the SAQIS- system. There is excellent cooperation between GRDM and Industry and many emissions reduction programmes and improved technology projects have been implemented to mitigate the harmful effect of air pollution.

Goals 3 and 4 of the GRDM Air Quality Management Plan focus on Climate change response (CCR). The following tasks are envisaged under this objective relating to CCR:

  • Determining the types and quantity of fuels used in households
  • Continue the Clean Fires campaign at schools
  • Refine the emissions inventory to include household emissions
  • Identify the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions within the GRDM
  • Engage with these contributors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and acknowledge those who take effective steps
  • Assist local municipalities to amend by-laws to affect emissions limits on unlicensed industries that emit greenhouse gasses.

The importance of air quality on the quality of life is often overlooked due to a lack of understanding of the impact that poor air quality has on the health and wellbeing of the community. The GRDM AQMP will continue to prioritise protecting vulnerable communities against exploitation.

Feature image: Air quality sensor

ENDS

18 November 2021 Media Release: Typhoid cases in George

Media Release: Typhoid Fever in George

For Immediate Release
18 November 2021

Isolated Typhoid hotspots have recently been identified in the Garden Route, more specifically the George municipal area.

Of paramount importance in the fight against typhoid fever, is awareness and the management of already notified cases. Therefore, the role and functions of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Municipal Health Services cannot be over emphasised. Prompt interaction with the notified cases will prevent further spread, although difficulties with correct addresses sometimes are a challenge,’ says Johan Compion, Manager for Municipal Health and Environmental Management at GRDM. He added: “During the period of August 2020 until September 2021, fourteen (14) cases including one (1) death were reported from the George region (GRDM),” Compion said.

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. It is usually spread through contaminated food or water. Salmonella Typhi lives only in humans.

Typhoid is endemic in South Africa. The normal Typhoid case patient age ranges from 4 years to 27 years. Typhoid risk is higher in populations that lack access to safe water and access to adequate sanitation. Poor communities and vulnerable groups including children are at higher risk. Typhoid fever is also climate related as the germs spread easier during the summer period, making this disease Climate Change related.

A walk through survey and investigation was conducted in order to determine possible cause of the typhoid fever in the affected areas and the following were observed:

  • Illegal dumped waste
  • Pools of stagnant water
  • Animals such as pigs roaming around the area
  • Overflowing sewage
  • Man-made urinal stalls
  • Prolonged high fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation or diarrhoea

Access to safe water and adequate sanitation, hygiene among food handlers and typhoid vaccination are all-effective in preventing typhoid fever.

Recently, Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) have taken water samples to be analysed for Salmonella and Vibrio Cholera. Eight sewage water samples were taken to detect the salmonella typhi and vibrio cholera from different areas in Thembalethu and the Outeniqua Water Works in Rosedale. All those samples taken from the sewage, comply with the standard limit.

EHPs from GRDM monitor the pump stations and river water samples will be taken on a monthly basis.

The aim of this Sampling programme is to reduce the health and safety risks resulting from exposure to contaminated river water.

Compion highlighted that the GRDM Municipal Health section interacts with Local Municipalities on a regular basis to ensure the sustainability of river water and drinking water programs. Further to this he concluded: “Our GRDM EHPs are also busy with typhoid awareness in clinics and the community at large to prevent the spread on the fever in our area”.

ENDS

19 October 2021 Media Release: Garden Route DM prioritises the long-term health and well-being of citizens

Media Release: Garden Route DM prioritises the long-term health and well-being of citizens

For Immediate Release
19 October 2021

The impact various businesses have on the health and well-being of communities, are closely monitored by Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP). They conduct surveillance of premises to ensure that safe, healthy and hygienic conditions are the order of the day. EHPs, during their inspections, identify, monitor and evaluate health risks, nuisances and hazards. If the premises they’ve inspected is not up to standard, corrective actions will be taken.

GRDM Executive Manager for Community Services, Mr Clive Africa, says “the GRDM Municipal Health By-law, promulgated under the National Health Act, 2003 (61 of 2003), allows EHPs to take remedial action in instances where the conditions may create a possible risk to the health and well-being of the community”. “EHPs perform health inspections at various premises unannounced,” he said.

EHPs visit these types of sites on a routine basis:

  • Accommodation facilities
  • Barbers and hairdressers
  • Body piercing and tattoo parlours
  • Childcare facilities- tertiary and other educational institutions
  • Farms
  • Guesthouses or self-catering accommodation premises
  • Health care facilities
  • Hostels/backpackers
  • Informal settlements
  • Laundries
  • Night shelters
  • Nursing homes and retirement villages
  • Places of care
  • Premises where animals are kept
  • Public ablution facilities, beaches

When inspections are done, the following steps are required to be completed by each EHP:

  1. Inspection checklists are completed and captured for each inspection.
  2. Those in charge of premises will receive a full report on findings within 14 days following an inspection.
  3. While inspections are done, EHPs also educate and inform those in control of premises about immediate remedial actions required.
  4. The GRDM has a digital database of all premises in the region.
  5. In some instances, external stakeholders will form part of inspections (law enforcement, etc.)

A risk-based approach is followed by each EHP during inspections. Focus areas include ventilation, lighting, indoor air quality, food safety, water and sanitation practices, management of waste, pest control, disease transmission risk factors, hygiene practices and other conditions that are likely to pose a hazard or risk to human health.

For any information, contact the GRDM Municipal Health Services Unit of Garden Route District Municipality at 044 – 803 1300 or contact Johan Compion, Manager: Municipal Health and Environmental Services, on 083 803 5161.

ENDS

Caption: Garden Route District Municipality Environmental Health Practitioner inspecting food products at a grocery store in the Garden Route.