- Hon.members, I commence by conveying our condolences to the families who have recently lost their loved ones to Swine flu, where testing was done. We welcome that there is no outbreak.
- However, Hon.MEC, this executive statement on the H1N1 virus is a matter of public importance and the MF appreciates the department’s information which we can convey to our constituencies.
- Hon.members, it is vital that we give the correct information to the public as Swine flu does have a convoluted 90 year evolution.
- The problem is that vaccine production takes approximately 6 months, by which time a new strain appears. Therefore, it is important to advise on annual flu vaccination. The department needs to do more to offer the flu vaccination services to vulnerable people who have pre-existing medical conditions which are precipitated by the H1N1 virus.
- Being a communicable disease, outbreaks spreads quickly due to people to people contact in schools, prisons, old age homes and informal settlements etc.
- A major concern is pregnant women as the mortality rate is as high as 1 in 5 deaths, and miscarriages are prevalent. A swab test is costly, Hon.members and not covered by most medical aids, i.e.: R1400.
- Survivors are lucky but those who go into organ failure have life-long morbidity. All these affects the quality of life of our people and increases the cost-burden on the public health system as private healthcare is too expensive. Furthermore, poultry and pig farmers and workers are at great risk all the time, as are veterinarians.
- It is important for the department of health to embark on a public health education exercise and use pictorial images, televised videos at our public institutions and pull-outs in newspapers to make people aware of the facts.
- Furthermore, we need Hon.Premier to ensure that all public and private transport, schools, airports, banks, hospitals etc. to be monitored regularly for cleaning surfaces.
- We need to run a television advert for washing hands, from time to time stop many infections.
- We need our health and environment inspectors Hon. MEC to be out and about and check on infection control in our food industry, restaurants and local food stores. Also, the hospitals schools and prisons.
- These efforts will not only curb Swine flu but reduce the prevalence of other communicable diseases.
- With these words the MF believes that the accessibility of Swine flu medicine packs for confirmed cases should be made available, including the antibiotic which is very costly.
- Thank you.
HON. S. Thakur-Rajbansi
Debated by: Hon. Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi
Minority Front Leader (KZN Legislature)
Date: Wed 31 Jul 2019
Time: 14:00 to 17:15
Word Count: 411 Words