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Govt to implement school health plan

2012-07-06 13:15

Johannesburg - The health department will soon start delivering health services to schools, Beeld reported on Friday.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said he had started visiting school principals in the 10 districts where the government's national health insurance system had been tested since April.

He was speaking at the opening of the SA Medical Association's conference in Boksburg on Thursday.

The plan involved examining each pupil's teeth, ears and eyes. Vaccinations would be checked and basic instruction given on Aids prevention and birth control.

Motsoaledi said that only the completion of a mobile clinic was delaying the roll-out.

The clinic had to be custom-fitted with special equipment to enable health providers to treat problems like dental caries on site.

He said there were health problems in schools that did not exist in his day.

"In my time, kids smoked Boxer [tobacco] behind the toilets. Now hard drugs are the order of the day, and teenage pregnancies too.

"We used to whisper when that happened... now we have 94 000 teenage pregnancies per year, of which 13 000 are in KwaZulu-Natal."

He said that a school had been criticised for distributing condoms, but that this project had reduced pregnancies by 50%.