Women's Health Season - More Health Services for Women
The Western Cape Government Department of Health has launched a three-month campaign that will focus on the well-being of women, between the months of July and September. The aim of the Women's Health Campaign is to empower women to look after their health and provide them with a holistic approach to improving their health faster and more efficiently.
Women are encouraged to take full advantage of this opportunity and access any public health clinic in the province for advice on various female health matters, including contraceptive choices, unwanted pregnancies, family planning assistance and early booking, cervical cancer and breast cancer screening, antenatal care and chronic disease management.
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, said: "In terms of our millennium development goals, which is in line with that of the World Health Organization, women's health is among our top five health priorities."
Focus areas for improving women's health include increasing the cervical cancer screening coverage to 67.3%, increasing the number of women who seek antenatal care before the twentieth week of their pregnancy to almost 60% and reducing the delivery rate of women under the age of 18 years to 6.4%.
Part of the Department's objective for the Millennium Development Goals is to reduce the maternal death rate by 75%, by 2015. The underlying aim of the Western Cape Government Department of Health is to manage the causes of maternal death, enhance the management of pregnant women, ensure quality provision of contraception, strengthen and support pre- and postnatal care, eliminate death from unsafe abortions and enhance community health awareness and mobilisation. Through the improvement of women's health, the Department is improving the health of the entire population of the Western Cape, including children, through the reduction of maternal and child mortality rate, amongst others. This benefits both the women, and the community, because of the centrality of women to the health of their families and communities. In the long term, improving the health of women enhances the productivity, social and economic participation and development of families.
Good women's health reflects on the quality of, and access to, maternal, sexual and reproductive health care. It also offers evidence regarding the health status of women at a reproductive age and that of their children.
"I would like to call on all women to take responsibility for their health and make use of the services that our facilities offer," said Minister Botha.
The Western Cape Government urges the public to make use of the free services at their facilities, and to also take responsibility for their own health. The following services will be available to all women between July and September:
- Contraceptive choices.
- Health checks for women.
- Free pap smears.
- Breast health checks.
- Checks for chronic diseases (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and HIV).
The Western Cape Government Department of Health offers safe and reliable services to women, which enables them to make wise choices about their body and their life. This makes it easier to look after women's health Better Together.