Road to Health Card

(Western Cape Government)
Summary

The card - a record of immunisations and growth rate - is given to mothers when their infant is born and is used to monitor the development of the child until it is five years old.

INTRODUCTION
The first years are the most important in the development of a child.

 

Your child's development during these years should be closely monitored. In doing so, any problem that will prevent your child from becoming a healthy individual will be detected at an early stage. Early detection will lead to early diagnosis and early diagnosis will ensure early treatment.

THE ROAD TO HEALTH CARD
The Road to Health Card is not a passport to health but rather an instrument to be used by doctors and nurses to monitor the development of your child.

WHERE DO YOU GET THE ROAD TO HEALTH CARD?
The Road to Health Card (often referred to as the Baby Card or the Health Card), is issued to the mother when a baby is born in either the private or state hospital service. Babies born elsewhere also receive a card with their first contact visit with the health services.

WHAT MUST I DO WITH THE CARD?
Mothers must keep this card safe and present it every time they visit the doctor or nurse, or when the mother or someone else takes the baby to the clinic or hospital. Remember this is not a hospital card, but a card that is required every time the child goes to the clinic or hospital.

WHY DO DOCTORS AND NURSES NEED THE CARD?
Doctors and nurses will check the card to see:

  • if your child received the necessary immunisations
  • if your child received the necessary vitamin supplementations
  • the growth of the child
  • the child's development according to the milestones for a growing child.

 

All this is to ensure good health for your baby.

The doctors and nurses will also record their findings on the card whenever your child is screened for the various milestones during their development. In doing so, the health history of the child from birth will be recorded. This written information will be available to assist them in the treatment of your baby should it be required.

Therefore, every time you take the child to any clinic or hospital - make sure that you take the card with you.

WHAT DO I DO IF THEY DON'T ASK FOR THE CARD?
Feel free to remind them of the card and hand the card to them so that the can record whatever is necessary.

DON'T FORGET!
If you, the mother of the child, are unable to take the child to the clinic or hospital, send the card with whoever takes the child.

HOW LONG MUST I KEEP THE CARD?
Keep the card for as long as possible, even if the child has grown up into adulthood. The information on the card, especially on immunisation, might be needed in later years, either by the school, the workplace or perhaps another country.

WHAT IF I LOSE THE CARD?
Don't worry, don't stay away!

Tell the sister at the clinic about the loss. She will issue a new card for the baby but don't stay away!

The content on this page was last updated on 15 March 2014