Nompi Nhlapo, Chairperson of Health Portfolio committee in Gauteng. pic sourced from thepicta.com.
Health Committee scrutinizes government services
In an audacious move to unlock bottlenecks that hinder government services, Gauteng’s Legislature Health Committee recently embarked on an oversight visit to two clinics and two primary schools in Ekurhuleni and Vaal respectively.
Led by its meticulous Chairperson, Nompi Nhlapo and the Legislature support staff, the delegation was on a fact finding mission about the progress of rolling out of Integrated School Health Primary (ISHP) programme.
ISHP is part of the comprehensive Primary Health Care package which operates within the Department of Basic Education framework and focus on achievement of health and educational outcomes and ensure that appropriate assessment, treatment, care and support services are available and accessible to all learners who are identified as requiring these services.
The marathon visit kicked off at Kwathema community health centre in Springs, which is tasked with the administration of ISHP to a nearby Emasimini Primary School.
Health officials revealed to the delegation that there was remarkable progress and achievements. Amongst the headway, they said yearly screening of learners was gaining momentum irrespective of shortage of school health nurses.
However, they also revealed challenges which they say were generic.
Their list of challenges contained amongst other things the following.
- Some of the Consent forms were not returned to school.
- Some Girls under 9 years were still in grade 4. HPV policy states that learner from 9 years above must be screened and vaccinated.
- Absenteeism of learners also stalled their mission.In the Vaal, Johan Hehns Community Health centre the entourage was told that, the biggest challenge was lack of dedicated health promoter for ISHP.
However listed achievements were as follows.
- There was good working relationship with the school during health visits.
- Provision of a clean working space was in place.
- Parents responded positively with 100% return of consent forms.
- The school has more than 81% coverage in the campaign.
- ISHP budget was available.
- Equipment procured successfully for screening hearing.
- The clinic inside the school managed to see 147 children and 10 teachers from April to date.
Speaking to this publication on the sidelines, Nhlapo said she was happy with the progress report in both schools.
“Even though there was still a lot of work to be done. This report will now be deliberated by the committee, then tabled to the house and if adopted it will become a resolution.”
DID YOU KNOW? ISHP SERVICES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING
- Health education.
- Nutritional Assessment.
- Screening for vision and hearing.
- Oral Health Screening.
- Motor function screening.
- Anaemia assessment.
- Screening for chronic /mental conditions.
- Referral to appropriate health services.