Final touches to 2010 health plans

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pretoria - The Department of Health is finalising plans to deliver efficient health services during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"By this time, all arrangements and installations should be in place and if there aren't we will look for alternatives to deliver the equipment," said Deputy Health Minister Molefi Sefularo.

Sefularo said the last days before the tournament were critical. They will be used to verify and confirm processes as well as conduct routine work to ensure the public health system, including military health services, is fully ready to provide services.

The minister is currently attending a two-day National Health Workshop in Pretoria where various health bodies are assessing whether the country is ready to provide a comprehensive health and medical response for the duration of the tournament.

Sefularo urged delegates to be honest about the challenges they were facing so they could be dealt with. "We must also be bold enough to say if the facility will not be ready on time so that we will look at other alternatives," he said.

A challenge raised on Monday was the provision of health services at ports of entry, excluding airports.

"Everyone entering the country should be screened and we should have measures of identifying health risks," said Sefularo, adding that the department would set up transit routes to smaller towns.

LOC Chief Medical Officer, Victor Ramathesele, said while it would be easy to control fan parks, the challenge would be with controlling the Public Viewing Areas (PVAs) as some of them were commercial and others non-commercial.

"The lessons we learned from Korea and Germany is that people set up PVAs; we have to plan how to deal with them," said Ramathesele.