Western Cape Government Health in George is on a mission to improve the well-being of pre-schoolers through their Nurse Kitty programme. The programme runs at 8 selected crèches in George. It was established to increase awareness regarding the wellbeing of children, transfer knowledge and skills to teachers and parents and to ensure accessibility to therapeutic services. This programme also forms part of the First Thousand Days Initiative which views the period from conception to 2 years of age as the most vulnerable time for a child in terms of health. This window of opportunity should be used to shape healthier and more prosperous futures for our children. On each outreach the group aims to help children in need of therapeutic services and basic healthcare through multidisciplinary team interventions. The team consists of nurses, a dietician, occupational therapists, a social worker, an oral hygienist, an audiologist, a speech therapist and environmental health practitioners. Children are screened by a community health worker (CHW) before each crèche visit and only children with signed consent forms will receive the services on the day. Once assessed, children are referred to their clinic for further treatment with their parents if necessary. The department also offers a workshop for the teachers with the aim of helping and equipping teachers with the skills to identify a child that is at risk of developing potential problems.
Happy Feet crèche which operates under the banner of Life Community Services received a visit by the team recently. Principal Loretta Laminie was excited about the visit, saying that there are numerous areas that need attention with some of the learners but that parents don’t always have the time to take their children to the clinic.
The health team also evaluates the general condition of the crèche to see where they can assist. One example of assistance is holders made by the occupational therapists for toothbrushes and toothpaste for the children. Some of the crèches are also in need of plumbing work and any assistance by the public will be appreciated.
The team will focus on the following 8 crèches in 2017:
Happy Feet Educare Centre, Siyazama Educare Centre, Mzomhle Educare Centre, Toddlers Inn Conville, Sonneblom and Sonnestraaltjie Protea Park, Blanco Crèche, Lawaaikamp Crèche and Rooibootjie Crèche. For more information about the Nurse Kitty programme contact Lushke Theron on 044 8039000.
For other important reading please visit our First thousand Days web page: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/first-1000-days/
Principal Communications Officer
Eden and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Kwanokuthula CDC,Plettenberg Bay
Tel: 044 501 5751
Fax: 044 501 5719