Category: <span>Provincial & National</span>

19 July 2022 Media Release: A healthy life for all

19 July 2022

 Media Release: A healthy life for all

It was with great excitement that the Sonskynhoekie Senior Club members from Blanco received their Western Cape on Wellness (WoW!) starter kit. The kit contains portable equipment for members to do basic health screening (e.g. scale, blood pressure monitor and tape measure) and to encourage indoor and outdoor physical activities (e.g. exercise matts, skipping ropes and weights). The group also received a WoW! branded banner for use at group events to increase visibility and create awareness.

All 40 members have been part of the WoW! initiative since March this year.

‘My first visit was in March to introduce the concept and from there we have had great interactive sessions with the club members,’ said WoW! champion Claudel Draai.

The club has been in existence for 21 years and meets 3 times a week. Claudel and other health staff visit the club once or twice a month and concentrate on physical activities, information sessions and health screenings. ‘During our first session we did baseline screenings (weight, heights, blood pressure, blood pressure etc.) and issued each member with a Wellness passport. This enables members to measure Personal Health Indicators (‘know their numbers’), set personal healthy lifestyle goals, identify actual or potential barriers to change, and record and track personal progress. It also emphasises the responsibility of group members in promoting, protecting and managing their health,’ said Claudel.

‘The presentations are great, and we do appreciate the new ideas to help us manage our chronic conditions. WoW! also encourages us to live a healthier lifestyle with balanced meals, being active within our individual capacity and keeping our brains active,’ said club member Pam van Wyk.

The group also enjoyed talks on nutrition by a dietician and an informative session on World Elderly Abuse Day.

WoW! is a healthy lifestyle-promoting partnership platform coordinated by the Western Cape Government (WCG) Department of Health and Wellness and working together with a range of valued partners from government, community organisations and groups, private companies and academic institutions. Interested people and organisations are encouraged to join WoW!. The aim is together to co-create a culture of wellness in the Western Cape. Promoting healthy lifestyles is a major priority for WCG to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic or non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – diseases of lifestyle.

Feature Photo:  Sonskynhoekie seniors club received their WoW! kit.

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

1 July 2022 Media Release: The South African Police Service and Garden Route District Municipality host Anti-Crime Summit

Media Release: The South African Police Service and Garden Route District Municipality host Anti-Crime Summit

For immediate release
1 July 2022

From Wednesday, 29 June to Thursday, 30 June 2022, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in collaboration with Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) hosted an Anti-Crime Summit at the Mossel Bay Civic Hall in Mossel Bay with other departments, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) and other role players within the Security and Safety Cluster.

The Summit brought together approximately one-hundred and eighty (180) significant stakeholders to discuss the issue of crime and the impact it has on the communities of the Garden Route district. For this reason, the GRDM   contributed an amount of R30 000 to the event. Other stakeholders involved in the Summit, included: The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Correctional Services, Home Affairs, the Department of Health and the National Prosecuting Authority.

On day one, presentations on the aspect of crime within the district for the 2021/2022 financial year were delivered, where it was revealed that some categories of crime have increased and some decreased. Presentations regarding the value chain in crime prevention were furthermore made by all departments present. Crime hotspots were identified and an analysis of solutions proposed by delegates to address these hotspot areas, were also discussed.

The Chief of Staff in the Office of the Executive Mayor at GRDM, Siphiwe Dladla, specifically focused his speech on the functionality of Community Safety Forums in the district. Dladla clarified the roles between the District Municipality and Local Municipalities with regard to these forums. He said: “The District Municipality is responsible for the coordination of the Safety Initiative Project, with a Project Coordinator that has to be appointed”. To this he added: “The District Municipality is furthermore responsible for reporting their progress to the Department of Community Safety and this should be done on a quarterly basis”. The District is also responsible to ensure that local safety forums and mediation teams are established. With regard to the status of the GRDM’s Safety Plan, Dladla confirmed that the Municipality has a Safety Plan that was developed in 2019. “The Plan was last reviewed in March 2022 and circulated to all stakeholders involved”.

Dladla encouraged all stakeholders to participate in the forums within their respective municipal areas. He also highlighted that municipal officials responsible for coordination are encouraged to work hand in hand with all relevant stakeholders. In conclusion he said: “The Forum is also encouraged to mobilise communities to participate in the forums and for that, GRDM is available to assist any Forum”.

Brigadier Johanna Crafford, from SAPS shared the Department’s vision for this financial year (2022/2023) and extended a special word of appreciation to all government departments and stakeholders who ensured representation at this crucial annual event.

ENDS

9 June 2022 Media Release: Series of cold fronts headed for South Africa

Media Release: Series of cold fronts headed for South Africa

For Immediate Release
09 June 2022

South Africans have been enjoying clear skies for the past few days, however, that is about to change as a series of cold fronts are expected to make landfall over the western parts of the country early next week and move eastwards, affecting most of South Africa. These cold fronts are expected to result in strong winds, high waves, heavy rainfall, light snow and a significant drop in temperatures.

Forecasted maximum temperatures for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (14, 15 and 16 June 2022) next week.

The first cold front is expected to reach the Western Cape on Sunday evening. Ahead of this front, strong north-westerly winds between 50-60 km/h, gusting up to 70-80 km/h, are expected over the southern parts of the Northern Cape and interior of the Western and Eastern Cape from Sunday. These strong winds are likely to result in damage to formal and informal settlements as well as possible structural damage in these areas.

In addition, westerly to south-westerly waves, with significant wave heights of 4.0 to 4.5 m, are expected between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas on Monday morning, 13 June 2022, continuing into the afternoon. Together with these waves, strong north-westerly winds (50-60 km/h) are expected along this coast. These conditions may result in difficulty to navigate at sea.

By Monday evening, another cold front will reach the Western Cape. As these fronts make landfall, high rainfall amounts are expected mainly in the south-western parts of the Western Cape, especially from Monday through to Wednesday afternoon. This rainfall will spread eastwards on Tuesday towards the Eastern Cape. Rainfall accumulations are expected to reach 50-80 mm over the mountainous areas of the Cape Metropole, the western parts of Cape Winelands and the western parts of the Overberg districts between Monday and Wednesday. These high rainfall accumulations are likely to cause flooding of roads and formal/ informal settlements in these areas. Even though the Eastern Cape is expected to receive some rainfall, the rainfall amounts are not anticipated to have any significant effect on the dam levels for that province.

Temperatures are expected to drop significantly over the entire Western Cape and Namakwa district on Monday. This cooling will spread eastwards, reaching Limpopo, Mpumalanga as well as KwaZulu-Natal between Wednesday, 15 June 2022 and Thursday, 16 June 2022 (fig. 1).

With this cooling, freezing levels are expected to also drop significantly, resulting in light snowfall over the southern high ground of Namakwa, as well as the high-lying areas in the western interior of the Eastern Cape on Tuesday, spreading to the north-eastern high ground of the Eastern Cape on Wednesday.

The South African Weather Service will continue to monitor any further developments relating to these cold fronts and will issue updates and warnings as required. Furthermore, the public are urged to regularly follow weather forecasts on television and radio. Weather information will be available at www.weathersa.co.za as well as via the SA Weather Service Twitter account @SAWeatherServic

Compiled by Surprise Mhlongo and Elizabeth Viljoen

For technical and weather enquiries:
National Forecasting Centre:  Tel: 012 367 6041

Media enquiries:
Ms Hannelee Doubell: Acting Senior Manager, Communications;
Tel: (012) 367 6104 / Cell: 072 222 6305;
E-mail: hannelee.doubell@weathersa.co.za

ENDS

11 May 2022 Notice: Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works: Public hearings on the Western Cape Provincial Transport Infrastructure Bill

To:

  • All Mayors, Municipalities of the Province of the Western Cape
  • All Speakers, Municipalities of the Province of the Western Cape
  • All Municipal Managers, Municipalities of the Province of the Western Cape

STANDING COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS: PUBLIC HEARINGS ON THE WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE BILL [B 5–2021]

The Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works will be facilitating public hearings on the Western Cape Provincial Transport Infrastructure Bill as indicated below.

The purpose of the Bill is to provide for the planning, declaration, design, construction, maintenance, control, management, regulation, upgrading and rehabilitation of roads, railway lines and related transport infrastructure in the Western Cape; and for matters connected therewith.

It would sincerely be appreciated if you would extend this invitation to all your Councillors in order for them to inform their ward committee members and the wider public accordingly. It would also be appreciated if you could forward this notification to any other person or institution that, in your opinion, may have an interest in the Bill. See attached advertisement.

Therefore, you are hereby cordially invited to submit written submissions as well as requests to make verbal presentations on such written submissions to the Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works for the attention of the Procedural Officer Mr Johan Coetzee at email: jcoetzee@wcpp.gov.za.

Interested persons and organisations who intend to submit an oral submission may do so by WhatsApp as a voice note (cell phone number 064 763 9034). Should you wish to appear before the Committee to make oral presentations you can direct your request to Mr Johan Coetzee (Tel: 021 487 1717, e-mail: jcoetzee@wcpp.gov.za or on the WhatsApp), which must include full contact details (name, email address and contact number), to the Procedural Officer.

Copies of the Western Cape Provincial Transport Infrastructure Bill will be available on request and an electronic version of the Bill is available on the Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s website (www.wcpp.gov.za).

Yours sincerely,

MR D AMERICA, MPP
CHAIRPERSON: STANDING COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS

For more information, download the following documents:

Issued: Western Cape Provincial Parliament

ENDS

25 February 2022 Media release: Busy month for Health


Media release: Busy month for Health

February was a busy month on the health calendar.   Health teams have been out in full force across the district  to educate and provide guidance on family planning (pregnancy education week), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV first round) and Sexually Transmittable Disease (STI and condom month).

Pregnancy Education Week

Using protection during sexual activities will not only reduces the risk of unplanned pregnancies, but also prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS.

Health teams took to the streets of Pacaltsdorp to promote the use of family planning.

Teenage pregnancy, the use of emergency contraceptives, early bookings, and access to prenatal care was the focus of this year’s Pregnancy Education Week from 12 – 19 February.

Between April 2019 to December 2021, 3922 teenage pregnancies were recorded at public hospitals in the Garden Route District. This is 14% of the total deliveries for the district.

The Department has various support programs in place to assist pregnant teenagers who have social challenges as part of the First 1000 Days plan, where a child’s health is most vulnerable during the first 1 000 days of its life and the mother’s mental health is important for a healthy pregnancy and birth. This period, from conception until a child’s 2nd birthday, offers a unique window of opportunity to shape healthier and more prosperous futures.

Another form of support as part of the First 1000 Days program for young mothers is the MomConnect mobile platform which has three main objectives:

  • To register each pregnancy at a government health facility.
  • To send stage-based, personalised SMSes to each mom in the registry.
  • To allow women to engage with the health system through help desk tools and services.

 Human Papilloma virus (HPV)

 The first round of this year’s campaign takes place from 14 February 2022 until 31 March 2022

HPV is the virus that causes cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer among women after breast cancer. Over 99% of all cervical cancers are caused by persistent infection of high-risk types of HPV.  The vaccination protects girls from being infected by HPV and reduces the risk of developing HPV related cervical cancer later in life. The younger your daughter is, the better her body’s immune system can respond to the vaccine, resulting in the production of protective antibodies against the virus. The provincial campaign at public and special schools is only targeted at Grade 5 girls over 9 years of age. Please remember to send the signed consent form to school. If your daughter is attending a private school and you would like her to be vaccinated, you need to contact a private health care facility and have the vaccination done privately          

STI and Condom Month

Sexually Transmitted Infections are infections caused by germs that are passed from one person to another mainly during unprotected sex. Most symptoms are easily noticed and can be treated if reported early to the sister at the clinic.

How will I know if I have an STI?

You may have an STI if you have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Discharge from the penis, burning or pain when passing urine.
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge, smelly, itching, burning or painful urination.
  • Mild to severe lower abdominal pain, sometimes fever, with or without vaginal discharge.
  • Sore(s) or blisters on the genitals with or without painful swelling in the groin.
  • Sores, itching of glands, penis pain.
  • Scrotal swelling, with or without pain.

We urge the public to make use of the services we provide to better their health and that of their community.

For more information visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/health

Feature photo: School Health teams visited Franken Primary School as part of the HPV campaign. From left: Mona Fortuin, Henrunesha Blouw, Elvina Jaftha and Jennifer Bielh.

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

16 February 2022 Media Release: Healthcare support for teenage pregnancies

Media Release: Healthcare support for teenage pregnancies

For immediate release
16 February 2022

Teenage pregnancy, the use of emergency contraceptives, early bookings, and access to prenatal care is the focus of this year’s Pregnancy Education Week which is highlighted from 12 – 19 February.

Between April 2019 to December 2021, 3922 teenage pregnancies were recorded at public hospitals in the Garden Route District. This is 14% of the total deliveries for the district.

Sr Claudine Potts (Midwife at George Hospital) expresses her concern on the increasing number of teenage pregnancies amongst young girls between the ages of 12 and 19.

‘Mothers-to-be should visit their local clinic (preferably before 20 weeks) to seek medical care, book an antenatal visit and gather information. Mothers should also find out if there are any antenatal classes in your area at your closets clinic or hospital. The most important message to all pregnant mothers is to have a support system or partner throughout the duration of the pregnancy’, she said.

‘There are also various contraceptive methods available at healthcare facilities to avoid unplanned pregnancies. One is emergency contraception available at all healthcare facilities. Emergency contraception must be taken within 72 hours after sexual intercourse to avoid an unplanned pregnancy’, she said.

‘As a midwife, the highlight of my work is sending home a healthy baby and giving moms-to-be the best possible experience during pregnancy and labour’.

The Department has various support programs in place to assist pregnant teenagers who have social challenges as part of the First 1000 Days plan, where a child’s health is most vulnerable during the first 1 000 days of its life and the mother’s mental health is important for a healthy pregnancy and birth. This period, from conception until a child’s 2nd birthday, offers a unique window of opportunity to shape healthier and more prosperous futures.

Another form of support as part of the First 1000 Days program for young mothers is the MomConnect mobile platform which has three main objectives:

  • To register each pregnancy at a government health facility.
  • To send stage-based, personalised SMSes to each mom in the registry.
  • To allow women to engage with the health system through help desk tools and services.

How To Register for MomConnect:

  • Ask someone at a public health care facility to confirm that you are pregnant.
  • Dial *134*550# from your cellphone to register.
  • Answer a few simple questions about your pregnancy.
  • You will then be registered – welcome to the family!
  • Pregnancy is registered in the national database.
  • The user receives weekly SMS messages to inform them of their pregnancy and baby health (up to when the child is one year old).

Young mothers are encouraged to take the first steps by booking early for antenatal pregnancy care with trained and professional midwives. Adhere to their appointments and ask the necessary questions about their pregnancy to feel empowered and aware of their health status and the health status of the unborn baby.

Caption:  Sr Claudine Potts with soon-to-be mother Grace Khedama, who is in her final trimester of pregnancy.

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

ENDS

1 December 2021 Media Release: Health Platform Update – 1 DECEMBER 2021

For immediate release
1 December 2021

Media Release: Health Platform Update – 1 December 2021

The Garden Route District recorded 74 additional cases of COVID-19 in the previous 7 days (data until 30 Nov).  There are now 15 active cases per 100 000 (one week ago it was 10). Most sub-districts had an increase in the active cases per 100 000 population.  The Western Cape Government remains on high alert following the announcement of a new variant, Omicron.

The district has plans in place for the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, based on learnings form the first three waves.  ‘As with previous waves, our hospitals are currently preparing for a possible increase in COVID-19 admissions’, said District Director for Health, Mr Zee Brickles. This includes staffing arrangements, oxygen contingency plans, decommissioning of wards when needed make space for COVID-19 patients and more.

George Hospital is also gearing up for the fourth wave by ordering sufficient stock of necessary consumables / Personal Protective Equipment,  significant upgrade of the hospital’s oxygen system to treat patients with high-flow nasal oxygen in general ward beds, recruiting additional contract nurses to allow for escalation of services, trying to maximize elective surgery during the current inter-wave period due to lost capacity in previous waves and expected reduction in 4th wave and encouraging staff and patient vaccinations and  booster injections.

VACCINATION IS KEY

Scientists agree that vaccination remains the most effective tool we have to save lives and that this is even more important now with the discovery of a possibly more transmissible variant.

We encourage our residents to take up this opportunity as soon as possible especially if you are over 50 years old, or if you have comorbidities.

Vaccinations in the Garden Route stands at 66% for the population over 18 years who are fully vaccinated and 42% for the population who have received at least one dose vaccine.

The total vaccinations administered to date stands at 350 194.

VACCINATION OF IMMUNOCOMPROMISED ADULTS

As from 1 December 2021, the following groups of adults 18 and older will be eligible to receive an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine as part of their primary vaccine schedule:

 Individuals with the following conditions:

Haematological or immune malignancy

Moderate to Severe Primary immunodeficiency disorder

HIV infection with CD4 count < 200 cells/μL within the last 6 months

Asplenia

Individuals receiving the following treatments:

High dose steroids or systemic biologics (e.g. for autoimmune conditions)

Long term renal dialysis

Transplant recipients (Solid organ or bone marrow)

VOOMA VACCINATION WEEK

Vooma Week 3-10 December

The third  Vooma vaccination campaign kicks off on Friday 3 December 2021.

Vooma Vouchers for 50+!

The Vooma Voucher has been increased to R200 for those who vaccinate for the first time during Nov/Dec to spend at Shoprite, Checkers or Usave.

Lucky Draw– R1,000! R10,000! R100,000!

The lucky draw has been launched to encourage people in South Africa aged 12 and older to come forward for Covid-19 vaccination.

Everyone who has been vaccinated this year is automatically entered into the five weekly draws. Everyone who has been vaccinated this year is automatically entered into the five weekly draws. That is

if they have been vaccinated by the date of specific draws and by no later than the 31st of December 2021. Their details need to have been captured on the EVDS systemin time for each draw or, in the case

of the final draw, by 25 January 2022.

 Garden Route Vooma sites 4 & 5 December:

VACCINATION SITE DATE TIME
GARDEN ROUTE MALL POP-UP SITE 4 & 5 09:00 – 13:00
HEIDELBERG CLINIC 4 08:00 – 13:00
RIVERSDALE CLINIC 4 08:00 – 14:00
LADISMITH CIVIC CENTRE 4 09:00 – 14:00
KHAYELETHU CLINIC 4 09:00 – 14:00
DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH HALL GREAT BRAK RIVER 4 09:00 – 14:00
TOEKOMSRUS CLINIC 4 & 5 09:00 – 15:00

Please call 0860 142 142 for more information on weekly sites or visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WCGHealth/

Also watch local media and municipal pages for details

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

24 November 2021 Impact Based Warning: Level 8 Damaging Winds & Level 2 Damaging Waves

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued impact based warnings for (1) Level 8 Damaging Winds and (2) Level 2 Damaging Waves for the Western Cape and Namaqua Region of Northern Cape as follows:

Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance. It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

Report any weather related incidents to the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at 044-805 5071.

ENDS

23 November 2021 Media Release: Health Platform Update

Media Release: Health Platform Update

For immediate release

23 November 2021

December is within arms reach and with it comes year end celebrations and farewells. The latest Covid-19 statistics for the Garden Route shows an increase of 34 cases the past 7 days compared to 7 to 14 days ago. The district currently has 62 active cases.  ‘Although these numbers are still small, we must stay vigilant. In order to mitigate a possible fourth wave, we need to get as many people vaccinated as possible, especially those older than 50 years and those with co-morbidities’, said District Director, Mr Zee Brickles.

Petronella Williams from Plettenberg Bay and her two daughters received their vaccination. ‘ We had to think of Ashley(12) first who has type 1 diabetes. We also want to keep ourselves safe as well as friends and family with comorbidities’, she said.

Vaccination teams in the district are actively busy with outreaches to outlying area, businesses, education institutions, etc.

To date, 345 313 vaccines have been administered in the Garden Route District.

The Garden Route District is showing a small increase in the number of people older than 50 that have been vaccinated. 65% of those 50 years and older have been fully vaccinated.

There has been a one percentage point increase since the previous week for the population over 18 years who have received at least one dose vaccine, and stands at 51%. The percentage of the total Garden Route population who have received at least one dose vaccine stands at 35%. (1 percentage point increase from the previous week).

The Department appeals to all residents, especially those 50 years and older to get their vaccines and to avoid putting it off ahead of summer. Prioritising your vaccine can protect your health and your family’s.

Caption: Petronella with Ashley (type 1 diabetic) and Kiamesha.

END

Nadia Ferreira

Principal Communications Officer

Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts

Western Cape Government Health

Email: Nadia.Ferreira@westerncape.gov.za

Website: www.westerncape.gov.za

16 November 2021 Impact Based Warning: Damaging Winds

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued a Level 1 warning for Damaging winds as follows:

Report any weather related insidents to the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at 044-805 5071.

Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.
It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”