The Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings held a virtual meeting to be briefed by the Department of Health on implementing undertakings about the Covid-19 vaccination programme made in the National Council of Provinces by the Deputy President in March 2021.
The Minister of Health participated in the meeting. He told the Committee that the floods in KwaZulu-Natal had caused minimal damage to hospitals but water supply disruptions had caused a health hazard.
The presentation by the Department of Health covered steps taken to ensure widespread availability of Covid-19 vaccinations and the measures used to communicate vaccine messages and information about the location of vaccination sites. It provided an update on vaccine suppliers and progress in local vaccine manufacturing.
Members did not ask questions and the Chairperson attributed this to the thorough presentation.
The Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaala, said he had visited some of the health facilities affected by the disaster. Some were very busy hospitals, like the Prince Mshiyeni Hospital and the Wentworth Hospital, which serviced many people. Most hospitals had not suffered huge damage, but their water supplies had been affected by flood damage, creating health hazards.
Presentation by the Department of Health
Dr Nicholas Crisp, Deputy Director-General, Department of Health, presented the Department's implementation of the undertakings made in the NCOP.
He told the Committee that there was a comprehensive vaccine rollout programme with geo-mapping of all facilities and vaccination sites. Vaccination messages were communicated in all official languages on radio stations and outdoor platforms.
The presentation also provided information about vaccine suppliers and progress in the local manufacturing of vaccines.
See attached for further details.
There were no questions from Members.
The Chairperson attributed the lack of questions to the clear presentation, which he said had dealt with all the matters. He thanked the Minister and the Department for their work, and he encouraged them to continue. He told the Minister that he had the legislature's support, but at the same time, they would give constructive criticisms; it was not meant to defocus him but rather to improve his work.
The meeting was adjourned.
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