KZN health services on track for World Cup

Monday, March 1, 2010

Durban - Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Molefi Sefularo, is satisfied with the state of readiness of health and medical facilities in KwaZulu-Natal ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Sefularo, members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), and KZN MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, inspected the Inkosi Albert Luthuli, Wentworth and Addington hospitals as well as the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday.

Areas such as Emergency Medical Services (EMS), hospital services, port and environmental, health, communicable disease control, health promotion and forensic medical services were scrutinized.

Sefularo said host provinces will receive support from national government, including Addington Hospital, which services at least one million people.

"We have identified minor delays that will be resolved urgently. These include insufficient number of medical tents and equipment for public viewing areas and challenges in staffing levels," he said.

The department has asked local health authorities to include strategies to deal with issues of sexual violence and unregulated alcohol intake by setting up traumas centres.

Staff at all three hospitals have also undergone extensive training to improve their skills in various aspects of medical care over the past year.

Refresher courses have also been provided while nurses at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital have undergone training in advanced cardiac life support.

Over R132 million has been allocated to upgrade Emergency Medical Rescue Services' (EMRS) communication centres in various districts. Funds have also been used for the procurement of 120 ambulances of which 70 have already been delivered.

In emergency cases - Umhlanga, Crompton and Saint Augustine Hospitals - have been selected to assist footballers of the participating teams.

The 32 countries will travel with their own medical staff who will take care of their team's needs on the field. Also, medical facilities will be available at the stadium as the first port of call.

Moses Mabhida Stadium manager, Alf Oschatz, said medical centres will be placed around the stadium, which includes a Causality Clearing Station just outside the stadium.

The primary objective will be to deal with mass causalities. All the resources will be available on site to screen patients before sending them off for further medical assistance if required.

Sefularo has also assured South Africans that they will continue to receive medical attention as normal during the world cup - including their regular check-ups.