Modern, Growing, Successful Province

Speech by the Honorable MEC for Health, Mr Mxolisi Sokatsha on the occasion of the official opening of the new Cathrine Koikoi Clinic in Olifantshoek, John Taolo Gaetsewe District – Northern Cape

28 April 2010

Good morning and welcome to all present. Dames en Here, ons is vandag hier om ‘n historiese mylpaal in die lewe van die mense van Olifantshoek te verwesenlik. Vandag vier ons ‘n verbetering in die lewering van gesondheidsdienste vir alle inwoners met die amptelike opening van die nuwe Cathrine Koikoi Kliniek hier in Olifantshoek.

 

It is through a collective partnership between government and strategic stakeholders, that we can today provide a tangible product to the community of Olifantshoek in the form of a new clinic. As government, the principles of “Batho Pele-People first” and the Freedom Charter are guiding us on the road to better the lives of all people in our beloved province and country South-Africa.

According to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights, Chapter two, it clearly states that: “Everyone has the right to have access to health care services, including reproductive health care and no one may be refused emergency medical treatment”. As the Northern Cape Provincial Government and the Department of Health we are committed to these rights and ensuring that all citizens experience them.

Ladies and gentlemen, the opening of the new clinic today must be seen as a response to the calls made by our people during the April 2009 elections to improve health service delivery which led to the ANC identifying Health as one of it’s key priority areas for the next five years. Overhauling of the national health system has been identified by government as a key aspect which will assist government in attaining our health priorities.

Program direkteur, as die ANC geleide regering, het ons al baie bereik in die verbetering van gesondheidsdienste aan ons mense,maar baie meer moet nog gedoen word in terme van die kwaliteit van dienste, om dienste meer toeganklik te maak en om beter gesondheid resultate te bereik.

His Excellency, Mr Jacob Zuma, President of the country, in his State of the Nation Address on 11 February 2010 stated that: “We will continue to improve out healthcare system. This includes building and upgrading hospitals and clinics and further improving the working conditions of healthcare workers”. Today, as the ANC led government, we are adhering to the call of our President with the opening of this new clinic for the people of Olifantshoek.

Programme director, many of our public hospitals and clinics need to be revitalized and the working conditions of our health sector workers must be improved. Further challenges entail the constant supply of medication to all PHC facilities, especially those in the outlying areas and the shortage of critical personnel in districts, especially the rural areas. Furthermore, the stigma, poverty and distances in the Northern Cape pose serious challenges for providing a comprehensive management and treatment of HIV and AIDS.

Dames en here, die nuwe Cathrine Koikoi Kliniek, wat vandag hier geopen word teen ‘n koste van ses miljoen rand(R6M), moet gesien word as nog ‘n stap na koste-effektiewe en behoubare integrasie van gesondheidsdienste in hierdie gedeelte van ons provinsie. Die nuwe kliniek gaan die ou Olifantshoek kliniek vervang. Die ou kliniek het baie uitdagings gehad wat oorkom is met die nuwe kliniek wat nou binne loop afstand is vir die inwoners. Die nuwe kliniek sluit ook akkomodasie geriewe in vir personeel om sodoende professionele gesondheidswerkers te lok en te behou in ons landelike gebiede om te verseker hulle het gerieflike behuising om uitstekende diens aan ons mense te lewer.

I thus appeal to you, as the community of Olifantshoek, to work with your new clinic and to take advantage of the benefits that this facility brings here. It is your duty to make decisions regarding your health, and to understand the causes of illnesses. It is also your responsibility to lead a healthy lifestyle through healthy diet, regular exercise and by avoiding risky behavior such as smoking and alcohol abuse.

Ladies and gentlemen, the main health challenges in our province are TB and HIV/AIDS. TB is one of the major killers in our province and our country. TB, coupled with the HIV and AIDS prevalence is spreading at an alarming rate through our communities with an increased number of people contracting TB coupled with patients not completing and faulting on their medication. This is despite the fact that TB is curable. When you don’t take your treatment in the manner that you should, the TB you have may evolve in more serious forms of TB like MDR and XDR.

When we speak about TB it is important that we also speak about HIV and AIDS. We know that there is a close link between HIV and TB. This does not mean that every person who has TB is HIV positive. But if you are HIV positive you are very likely to have TB. However even in this case TB can be cured, it only means that you must take your medication.

As regering, vra ons alle mense om van seks te weerhou, veral ons jong mense. Die fokus moet wees om ons self te bemagtig met die nodige inligting.

The government is committed to address the challenges of the past, which has left a large part of the population without adequate health care services and facilities. Much progress has been by the government in improving the lives and health of millions of citizens, but we must remember that this is an ongoing process.

Dames en here, voor ek afsluit wil ek die belangrikheid van gemeenskaps betrokkenheid en deelname asook konsultasie beklemtoon. Die regering kan nie alles alleen vermag. With your help and inputs, can the planning and the management of health services in your community be successful. We must get involve in local structures like clinic committees, regarding health services and through this you as a community can assist in the monitoring of the Batho pele principles and the Patients Charter Rights.

Program direkteur, die Department van Gesondheid is tans besig met ‘n landswye immuniserings veldtog en ek versoek alle ouers om hul kinders onder vyf(5) jaar na die naaste kliniek te neem vir inenting teen masels en polio asook om ontwurming medikasie en Vitamiene A inspuitings te ontvang.

Dames en here, op 30 April word die Provinsiale Vrywillige Toetsing vir HIV veldtog geloods deur Premier Hazel Jenkins in die John Taolo Gaetsewe distrik en ons versoek almal om hulself vrywilliglik te gaan toets by die naaste kliniek of hospitaal om hul HIV status te bepaal. As regering beoog ons om teen Junie 2011, vyftien miljoen te bereik wat hulself getoets het vir HIV en berading ontvang het. In die Noord-Kaap, beoog ons om oor die drie honderd duisend mense te bereik.

Die nuwe kliniek behoort aan al die mense in Olifantshoek. Dit is u verantwoordelikheid om dit te beskerm teen vandalism en eienaarskap te aanvaar vir die kliniek.

The new clinic is named in memory of the late Cathrine Thandiwe Koikoi. She was an active UDF/ANC member before and after the unbanning of political organizations in South-Africa. She was a leader in various structures of the liberation movements. She hosted MK underground training in her house in the early 1980’s.She remained an active ANC veteran until her death.

Dames en here, dit is met groot blydskap en waardering dat ons as regering nou amptelik die nuwe Cathrine Koikoi Kliniek open hier in Olifantshoek en ek hoop en vertrou dat die dienste by die nuwe kliniek aan u behoeftes en verwagtinge sal voldoen.

“Deur saam te werk, kan ons meer doen!”

Thank you!!!
Dankie!!

Realeboga!!!

 

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