Prevention is Free - World Health Day 7 April 2016 | Western Cape Government


Prevention is Free - World Health Day 7 April 2016

6 April 2016

Health means different things to different people, some people rarely become ill, while others never seem to be well!  There are however a handful of illnesses that we can completely prevent and this prevention is free. 
All you need to do is make sure that your children are vaccinated. As parents it is our job to ensure that our children grow up with the best possible opportunities that we can offer. Taking care of your children’s health and ensuring that your family makes healthy choices is part of ensuring that they live a long and fruitful life.  
The 7 April 2016 marks international World Health Day, a day in which all countries which form part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) create awareness around healthy living and disease prevention.  To take part in the awareness campaign, Western Cape Government Health is reminding parents that the future health of their children depends on their actions. Vaccinations are free of charge at all clinics; Vaccinations protect your child from dangerous illnesses.   
Western Cape Government Health offers different vaccinations at various stages of your child’s life. Some are given at birth, before you even leave the birth unit, others are given when you visit the clinic for your and baby’s check-ups.  The Department also visits schools to administer vaccinations in Grades, 1, 4 and 7. Vaccinations can prevent your child from contracting illnesses such as Pneumonia, which is a leading cause of death in children less than five years of age. 

Some vaccinations, such as Tetanus and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), protect your child as they become adults. The Tetanus vaccination is administered several times and protects your child against Lock Jaw.  Lock jaw is a painful infection which causes death in about 40% of those that contract infections.  Tetanus is caused by an injury from rusty dirty metal, such as stepping into a nail. 
HPV is a viral infection that if contracted can cause Cervical Cancer, which is one of the leading causes of preventable death in South Africa. 
Any parent would like to do the best for their child, vaccinating your child, ensures that he/she is protected from several life threatening illnesses.
Other illnesses that parents can protect their children from are diseases of lifestyle.  Children do what they see their parents doing! So if you exercise, eat healthily and maintain a healthy body weight, your children are more likely to continue to do the same when they are grown up. 
Regular exercise and healthy eating, are known to prevent Diabetes and High Blood Pressure, both conditions that a responsible for a high number of deaths in South Africa. 
The health services are there to help you stay healthy. Our staff would like you to know how to take care of yourself and your family.  Visiting your clinic as suggested by the nurse is the best way to ensure that your child has all his/her vaccinations.
Many of the clinics in the Western Cape now have appointment systems. This means that you can phone or visit your clinic and ask for an appointment time and date. In this way you can ensure that you do not wait unnecessarily.  If you or a family member should suddenly take ill, during clinic hours, please go to the clinic first. Only go to the emergency centre at the hospital after hours. The nurses at our clinics are trained to know whether or not you need to be referred to hospital or can be treated at the clinic. 
Prevention is free! Being healthy is a gift, remaining healthy is your choice.  Western Cape Government Health encourages you to make sure that your children are vaccinated, that you and your partner live a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, a balanced diet that includes fruit, vegetables and lean meats.  It is better for your children if you do not smoke and alcohol should be taken in moderation.  Your good habits will teach your children good habits; in that way we can build a nation of strong, healthy adults. 


  • Did you know that you can protect your children into adulthood by vaccinating them?
  • When all the children in a community are vaccinated, there is less chance of any of them becoming ill.
  • Diabetes TYPE II is often caused by being overweight and not exercising.
  • Hypertension (High blood pressure) causes Strokes and heart attacks, even if you are in the early stages of High Blood Pressure, you can avoid the illness by changing your lifestyle.
  • By making sure that you always practice safe sex you can avoid contracting HIV. 
  • HIV can be passed on to babies during birthing.  If you are HIV Positive, you must start taking ARV’s early I n your pregnancy to stop your baby from being HIV+ at birth.


Media Enquiries: 

Jo-Anne Otto
Principal Communications Officer: Cape Winelands District
Tel: +27 23 348 8100
Cell: 072 8080 106
Facebook: Western Cape Government Health
Twitter: @WestCapeHealth