Through the Care and Support HIV school health programme, the education department hopes to encourage and support schools, their communities and families to become actively focused on health matters.
And the Western Cape Education Department’s Metro East Education District office has called on the schools to use the initiative to educate young people about the dangers and disadvantages of a reckless lifestyle.
Addressing people at Sakumlandela Primary School, on Wednesday March 21, Care and Support HIV head Lulama Matiwane, urged schools to be at the forefront of fighting TB and HIV/Aids and other diseases.
He called on schools to encourage children to regularly take part in sport or exercise to stay healthy. Mr Matiwane said in the townships people did not often check their health status and that should stop.
“Our aim is to prevent diseases such as tuberculosis and others. We cannot talk about TB without mentioning HIV/Aids. Those have a way of going together. We cannot separate the two.
“We would like to advise schools from the vulnerable areas to be more vigilant. We go around the schools like this so that we can protect our young people as early as possible. They learn better at their age,” he said.
Mr Matiwane said he was happy that most schools were keen to be part of the programme and that it was good to see parents getting involved in the health of their children.
“We go as far as the Overberg to educate our schools. But the exciting part is when parents get more involved in the programme. We want to reduce the number of sick children at school and in the community. But as I mentioned, we want to teach children early,” he told Vukani.
Principal Makhosandile Dyum said it was encouraging that government departments were working with the school to inform pupils and the community about important matters.
“Big up to the parents of this area. They came in numbers to see for themselves what is happening. We today have different governmental departments to give services to these people. This day provides an opportunity for parents to ask questions too. I am happy we took services closer to our parents,” he said.
Khayelitsha police sector commander, Captain Ntandazo Mncanca, urged parents and children to be always vigilant, especially over the long Easter weekend and emphasised that parents should know the whereabouts of their children at all times.
He also warned them about rampant drug abuse at schools and appealed to parents not to give their children money as it was often used for drugs.