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Health Promotion Project

Keynote Address by the Honorable MEC for Health - Mr Mxolisi Sokatsha, at the official launch of the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Health Promotion Project. Bothithong. John Taolo Gaetsewe District – Northern Cape, 01 March 2012: 11h00



Programme Director

Executive Mayor of John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality-Ms

All Mayors of Local Municipalities present

All Counselors present

Chairperson of the Supertrust-Ms Connie Molusi

Chairperson of the John Taolo Gaetsewe Developmental Trust-

Ms Mogodi

CEO of the John Taolo Gaetsewe Developmental Trust- Mr Thumelo Mpulukeng as well as other board members present

Representatives of Kumba Iron Ore

Senior Managers, District Manager, Facility Managers and Departmental officials from the Provincial Department of Health

Esteemed Members of the media

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning and a warm welcome all. I am indeed very honored and privileged to be part of today’s important gathering in celebrating another milestone in our governments health service delivery improvement efforts with the launch of this Health Promotion Project here in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District.

Ladies and gentlemen, Health has been prioritized as part of the five priority areas to which the ANC led government has committed to deliver on in the next five years after the 2009 national elections.

In addition, government developed a Ten Point Plan to address the service delivery challenges faced by the health sector. This Health Promotion Project is a direct response to:

Point 3 – Improving the quality of health services,
Point 7- Accelerated implementation of the HIV & AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections National Strategic Plan 2007-2011 and increased focus on TB and other communicable diseases as well as
Point 8 - Mass mobilization for better health

Ladies and gentlemen, this project has been made possible by the John Taolo Gaetsewe Developmental Trust and is seen as a positive step in improving health service delivery in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District and is aligned towards government’s improvement of quality health services and mass mobilization for better health outcomes.

We are all gathered here today for the same purpose which is to lay and to build on the foundation for government and private sector to continue on a journey with the main goal of improving health service delivery in our province and our country. Healthcare service delivery is facing daunting challenges. However, the successful implementation of health care improvement programs like this project, depends on effective partnerships with the private sector and government in improving the delivery of quality health care to our people. Today marks the success of such partnerships.

We would like to take this opportunity as government to thank the John Taolo Gaetsewe Developmental Trust for answering the call of Public-Private Partnership. Furthermore, thank you for taking hands with government and contributing positively towards the improvement of healthcare services to our people. Your partnership and commitment is greatly appreciated and we hope as government we can continue the positive and successful partnership into the future with you.

Programme director, the objectives of this project entail:

health advocacy to ensure that people make informed decisions about health thus directly impacting on lifestyle choices.
ensure that people acquire skills and confidence which allows them to take greater control of their health and inevitably prevent premature deaths.
to offer mass disease screening through onsite HIV counselling and testing and cervical cancer screening which is the leading cancer in South Africa and our region
to offer eye and dental care service on site.

As the Northern Cape Department of Health we have identified preventative health as a key priority in combating disease through community participation, public advocacy and health screening in order to prevent morbidity and mortality. The John Taolo Gaetsewe District serving a population of more than 191 000 people faces the daunting challenge of health professional shortage, infrastructure, distances, access etc. The district was also declared a presidential nodal area due to service delivery challenges being experienced. Clearly with these important human resource constraints the focus shifts to mainly treatment, neglecting preventive health which is recognized by the World Health Organization as a tool in improving community health status.

The high disease burden driven by the HIV pandemic and diseases of lifestyle burden the healthcare system. Due to both financial and human resources the government cannot meet all these demands. This then needs to be complemented by the private sector in order to reach the millennium development goals which South Africa is moving away rather than towards as evidenced by our worsening health indicators such as neonatal and maternal mortality statistics.

The project will run in the form of community advocacy workshops on:

General Community Awareness/ Health promotion, involving key health topics ie HIV/AIDS ( including stigma, prevention and treatment), Diabetes, Hypertension, Tuberculosis, Asthma, Obesity, Cerebrovascular disease, oral hygiene etc.
Women, dealing with infant feeding options in HIV positive women, child nutrition, contraception, and access to safe abortion, importance of antenatal care, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, cervical and breast cancer.
Peer Education workshops and Youth Information dissemination sessions. The target is youth who are in leadership.

Lastly, 3 Mobile Clinics/ Vehicles will also be operational to provide much needed health services:

- One for an Optometrist and Dentist

- One for clinic services and

-One for a General Practitioner

The focus of this project will be empowerment, education and access to health services. I want to call upon the people of John Taolo Gaetsewe to access the services provided by this project to ensure we all take responsibility for our health and start living more healthy lifestyles.

Programme Director, I want to conclude by saying that government and the private sector’s role and contribution to respond to healthcare service delivery challenges in our province and districts, should be the motivation to make a difference and change the lives of the people of Northern Cape for the better.

Working together, we can do more!

Thank you!

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