KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane with her Education counterpart Kwazi Mshengu, DDG: Clinical Support Penny Msimango (white top), protocol officer Siyabonga Khumalo (blue suit) and Rose van Heerden. Picture: Supplied
KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane with her Education counterpart Kwazi Mshengu, DDG: Clinical Support Penny Msimango (white top), protocol officer Siyabonga Khumalo (blue suit) and Rose van Heerden. Picture: Supplied

KZN Health MEC launches ’Covid-19 Influencers Programme’ to boost vaccinations

By Jolene Marriah-Maharaj Time of article published Jun 8, 2021

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Durban: As the province recorded one Covid-19 death in the past 24 hours, the KZN Health Department embarked on a national roadshow to encourage communities on the importance of getting vaccinated.

On Tuesday morning, KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane together with Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu, and well-renowned thespian Dr Gcina Mhlophe launched the ’Covid-19 Influencers Programme.’

As part of its upcoming roadshows, the KZN Department of Health will be visiting all the province’s 11 districts to promote the vaccination programme.

Simelane said: “The aim of the roadshows is to grow the province’s contribution towards realising government’s quest to vaccinate at least 67% of the South African population, in order to achieve herd immunity, and ultimately, stem the tide of the deadly Covid-19 infections.

“We have on board everyone from district champion MECs and HoD’s under the Operation Sukuma Sakhe model; to amakhosi, mayors, celebrities and entertainers, the business community; as well as the religious, traditional leadership, traditional health practitioners, and people from other influential sectors of society.

“We have agreed that they will use every platform available to them to champion the benefits of vaccination – from social and traditional media, to meetings, and every stage that they have access to.

“We are confident that this approach will be effective.”

For Phase 2 of the vaccination programme, which started on May 17, 2021, and ends in October, the KZN Health Department said it had established 171 vaccination sites across the province.

The Department said 78% of the healthcare workers in the public sector; as well as 72% of the healthcare workers who work in private hospitals have been vaccinated.

“This amounts to 124 091 health workers who have been vaccinated, while we are left with just 38 051 to vaccinate.”

A total of 254 097 people over the age of 60 have been vaccinated to date.

The Department said they were “inching closer” to achieving our target of 955 048 senior citizens by the end of Phase 2.

“All in all, the number of people who have been vaccinated stands at 388 353, including those from the Sisonke Implementation Study.

“Although our numbers have not exactly shot through the roof, there is evidence that they are climbing.”

The province currently has a total of 483 Covid-19 patients in hospital - 403 in the private sector; and 80 in the public sector.

The Health MEC said urged people not to take a casual approach even if they have received their vaccinations.

“Instead, it is the time for us to buckle up, and strictly apply all the non-pharmaceutical Interventions, such as the correct wearing of masks, regular washing of hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser, and maintaining social distancing.”

According to the National Department of Health, the country recorded a total of 89 deaths bringing the country’s death toll to 57 063 by Monday evening.

The highest number of deaths recorded in the past 24 hours were from Gauteng.

The province had 25 Covid-19 related deaths followed by 18 deaths in the Western Cape.

IOL

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