THE Department of Basic Education has introduced Tuberculosis (TB) in their National Policy as one of the diseases that is an epidemic in learners, educators and staff in the Education Indaba that was held at the IDZ, East London on Friday.
Eastern Cape Department of Education spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima said the policies were put in place to drive the response on HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and Tuberculosis.
“As South Africa strives to have an HIV-free generation among the under-20 age group by 2030 this policy will guide the strategies required to realize a systematic and sustained response to HIV and TB, to prevent disease and to promote health and well-being of learners, educators and officials in all our schools,” explained Mtima.
The policies which present a bold new vision for the sector are aimed at improving access to HIV/AIDS, STIs and TB prevention to reduce the incidence in schools.
South African Democratic Teachers Union’s (SADTU)Gender Convener, Nomxolisi Makayi, said that adding TB in the policy was the right path to take.
“We are happy with the implementation of this policy as TB is an epidemic issue in our schools. That’s why the school management team must work together with the school’s health teams, as well as, the health centers that are serving in the community as when there is a case of TB in the school these departments should be the first in managing the case,” she said.
LoveLife Senior Manager, Nomalizo Mlisana, said the reason for the policies is to equip learners, educators and staff with knowledge on health issues.
“At loveLife we believe that TB is a cousin to HIV. We are currently working across the Eastern Cape to ensure that we do not only educate learners but as well as parents as everything begins at home. We are including educators and staff as they are also part of the school system,” explained Mlisana.
“This policy will be implemented across the national, provincial, district and institutional levels of Basic Education System. Progress against its stated goals and objectives will be reviewed annually for the life of the policy to ensure it remains relevant to sectorial and national needs,” concluded Mtima.