Your child could be suffering from diarrhoea if they have a fever, are vomiting, have a runny tummy, have blood in their stools, or refuse to eat or drink.
This was part of the information given to mothers and pregnant women in Nyanga during the Side-by-Side Indaba.
The Klipfontein Mitchell’s Plain Health Substructure has started conducting Side-by-Side Indaba campaigns for moms and babies in all its areas, including Nyanga, Philippi, Mitchell’s Pain and Heideveld, to fight the disease.
The Side-by-Side campaign was initiated by the national Department of Health and aims to ensure that all children receive the care and protection they need to reach their potential.
The indaba also has a particular focus on diarrhoea. According to the officials, one of the main goals of conducting this initiative is to reduce child mortality.
More than a hundred parents and caregivers of Nyanga and surrounding areas attended the campaign at the Zolani Centre on Wednesday November 21 where the department and the City of Cape Town’s health directorate educated parents and caregivers on hygienic healthcare measures to prevent diarrhoea and pneumonia during the surge season from November to May.
Spokesperson for the provincial Department of Health, Monique Johnstone, said:
“Diarrhoea is one of the leading causes of death and illness among children under 5 years globally.
“Diarrhoeal disease is especially prevalent in summer because of more flies and higher water infection which leads to a higher number of cases reported from November to May,” she said.
She said infants and toddlers are more at risk of diarrhoea because they can dehydrate so quickly.
If the signs and symptoms of diarrhoea in a child are not addressed immediately, the child can die within a few hours if not treated correctly.
Dr Elma de Vries, a family physician at the Heideveld Community Health Centre, said the partnership between different departments aims to develop and sustain hygiene behaviours in communities, which help reduce the devastating number of children dying each year due to diarrhoea.
“It’s very necessary,” she said.