Health dept to outline 2010 World Cup plans

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Johannesburg - Deputy Minister of Health Molefi Sefularo is expected to outline the department's plans for travel tourism for the 2010 FIFA World Cup during the Health Tourism Congress on Thursday.

The congress aims to stimulate the inbound health tourism market in South Africa and foster greater sector cooperation and alignment.

It also offers an ideal platform to position South Africa, as a destination of choice for medical and cosmetic procedures.

Speaking on Tuesday ahead of the congress, Dr Sefularo said the key outcome of the congress will be the formation of a Health Tourism Cluster.

"There is much scope for collaboration between the medical, tourism, hospital and travel industries.

"We will also be exploring possible support and collaboration that can be provided by other departments," Dr Molefi Sefularo said.

He said the Health Technical Task Team projects, led by the department are underway with 15 Expert Work Groups currently operational.

The group is focusing on various areas including emergency medical services, communicable diseases, environmental health, port health, stadiums, provision of primary health care and establishment of command and control points.

Dr Sefularo will further give information regarding the issue of travelers from polio-infected countries to produce proof of vaccination against polio.

According to Dr Sefularo the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is considering revising travel advisories to include that travelers from polio-infected countries should produce proof of vaccination against polio.

"Although this is not yet a rule of law, it is wise and safe particularly in the light of the coming 2010 FIFA World Cup," Dr Sefularo said.

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that it was engaged in discussions with South Africa to ensure that the country was prepared for any outbreak during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Delegates attending the congress will include people from health and medical facilitators, hospitals and healthcare providers, dentists and doctors as well as government.