COMPREHENSIVE PRIMARY HEALTH CARE SERVICES INCLUDE:
- Sexually transmitted infections;
- Services for children and the youth;
- Integrated management of childhood illnesses
- Monitoring of diarrhoea and severe malnutrition
- Prevention of mother-to-child transmission
- Expanded Programme on Immunisation
- Interventions targeting the youth;
- Women’s health;
- Cervical cancer
- Antenatal care
- Family planning
- Non communicable diseases;
- Tuberculosis services;
- Notifiable medical conditions;
- Responding positively to HIV and AIDS; and
- Health Promotion.
The Primary Health Care service also empowers the community through awareness programmes such as:
- Healthy living initiatives;
- Men’s health;
- Child health
- Women’s health; and
- Chronic disease awareness.
Primary Health Care through Ward-based Outreach Teams (WBOT)
The City of Tshwane and Gauteng Health Department established ward-based outreach teams (WBOTs) as part of a series of strategies to strengthen primary health care (PHC). In order to improve access and health outcomes and to take health services to the community, the national policy outlines that each ward should have at least one PHC outreach team comprising a professional nurse, an environmental health officer, health promoters and six to ten CHWs.
A core WBOT is responsible for the health of a defined geographic and catchment area (electoral ward), with defined number of households and families. The WBOT implements door-to-door and community-based services to schools, crèches, early learning centres and home-based care services.
Each PHC outreach team will offer an integrated health service to the households and individuals within its catchment area. The team will proactively reach out to families and individuals, placing emphasis on early identification, health promotion and preventive activities.
Each household will be profiled and screened for early detection of health and health-related problems. Interventions will thus be planned based on the results of the screening.
The WBOT programme provides first-level care and as such it needs to be aligned with other levels of care.
National Health Insurance (NHI) will be implemented in three phases over 14 years. NHI is aimed at ensuring universal access to quality health care on a more sustainable and equitable basis than is currently the case. Its implementation is a priority of government as articulated in its programme of action as well as the negotiated service-level agreement between the Minister of Health and the President. In order for the health sector to help achieve “a long and healthy life for all South Africans”, the Minister of Health has committed to:
- Increase life expectancy;
- Decrease maternal and child mortality;
- Combat HIV/AIDS and decrease the burden of infectious diseases and TB; and
- Strengthen the health system’s effectiveness.
The focus of NHI is to address all systems and challenges in order to reverse the worsening burden of HIV/AIDS, TB, high maternal and child mortality, non-communicable diseases, injuries and trauma. It is therefore appropriate that innovative funding and service delivery models are explored and tested for health status improvement.
The first step towards implementation of NHI is piloting the NHI system in ten selected health districts. Tshwane Health District was selected as a pilot site, because it has rural and urban settlements, which should render more varied cases of spatial form and socio-economic status.
The whole population of Tshwane will be served by WBOTs set up across the city. The project started in July 2013 in Mamelodi and will be rolled out to all other wards in Tshwane over the next five years.
Enquiries: Ester Mphasha Contact numbers 012 358 6154