Diarrhoea alert for city

2016-02-11 06:00
Patricia de Lille, the executive mayor of the City of Cape Town giving the parcel to Mandilakhe Fose, in Khayelitsha, on Tusday. Nobantu Sohaha, the principal of Dora Tamane Enrichment Centre and other children are also seen on the picture. PHOTO: MANDLA MAHASHE.

Patricia de Lille, the executive mayor of the City of Cape Town giving the parcel to Mandilakhe Fose, in Khayelitsha, on Tusday. Nobantu Sohaha, the principal of Dora Tamane Enrichment Centre and other children are also seen on the picture. PHOTO: MANDLA MAHASHE.

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Diarrhoea among children is said to be in peak season in the Western Cape, and the City of Cape Town is in a drive to raise awareness, to keep children safe from the disease at Early Childhood Developments (ECDs) Centres.

Mayor Patricia de Lille, together with Councillor Suzette Little, the mayoral committee member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli, the city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Health and other officials, visited Dora Tamane Enrichment Centre, in Khayelitsha, on Tuesday.

The warmer months (November to May) have previously seen an increase in diarrhoea related cases, with the numbers peaking between February and April. Children under five are particularly susceptible.

De Lille said they aim to encourage ECDs to promote hygiene by teaching children to always wash their hands after using toilets and before eating.

“Our focus is on ECDs. We also gave the children bath soap so they can do what they are taught here at home. We also checked their immunization status which include their Vitamin A and de-worming status,” she said.

She also said about 9000 cases of diarrhoea have been reported in the city since November 2016.

De Lille spoke to the children and also demonstrated hand-washing with soap.

Washing bottles and cups thoroughly and sterilized with boiling water are additional measures which can prevent diarrhoea.

Residents were urged to take keep bins clean, cover them and not participating in illegal dumping as part of preventing the spread of the disease.

The city spent R24.3 million on ECD projects, since 2011, with an additional R14.1 million to be spent in this financial year.

Mamkeli said they are preaching about measure that the ECDs should take to prevent the spread of the disease.

“Children should wash their hands after playing and after using toilet. It is very dangerous when parents do not know the symptoms of diarrhoea and that can cause the death of a child.

The bacteria become too active when it is hot,” Mamkeli said.

The symptoms for diarrhoea include dry mouth, a dry tongue and lips, sunken eyes, weakness, irritability or lethargy.

Symptoms for severe dehydration in children include drowsiness, pale or mottled skin, cold hands or feet, very few wet nappies and fast and shallow breathing.

Nobantu Sohaha, the principal of Dora Tamane Enrichment Centre, thanked the city for their “intervention” to the centre.

“We always implement the policies for the city. Luckily for us we do not have diarrhoea here,” Sohaha said.

The centre has 97 children between the ages of 0 to five years.

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