News24

SWC: Health services 90% ready

2010-02-08 17:11

Johannesburg - South Africa's health sector is "90%" ready for the soccer world cup and working quickly to close the gaps, Deputy Health Minister Molefi Sefularo said on Monday.

"So far we are happy about the 90% level of readiness, but need to begin to work with speed to close gaps," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at a workshop of 2010 provincial co-ordinators in Pretoria.

With just over 100 days before the matches, the sector has to finalise preparations for responsive health services, as well as a disaster management plan and prompt responses.

"Recent developments in Angola, where a Togo national team was ambushed, has raised concerns both locally and internationally about the ability of the African continent to successfully plan and host a major event," he said, adding that Africa was "under a microscope".

"It is therefore important that safety and health matters with regards to service provision are integrated to ensure that the well being of all visitors including the teams are prioritised," he said.

The plans included integrating services with the South African Military Health Services at stadiums, training grounds and fan parks.

A national health command and control centre would also be set up and linked to all provincial control centres.

"In line with our commitment to Fifa, we have put systems in place to mitigate the risks of injuries, including those that might arise during mass gatherings, as well as prevent and treat communicable diseases, working together with private healthcare providers."

The workshop will run for two days.