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How to be a Health Activist

Minister Debbie Schäfer Attends Launch of "How to be a Health Activist" Workbook

On 31 July 2014, Minister Debbie Schäfer attended the launch of the ‘How to be a Health Activist’ Workbook at Vanguard Primary School in Athlone.

The distribution of the workbook is currently aimed at reaching Grade 8 and 9 learners in 167 selected schools around the Western Cape. The content mainly deals with issues pertaining to the prevention of Tuberculosis (TB). This intervention has become critical for the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), in partnership with the University of the Western Cape (UWC), to counter the growing rate of TB and HIV in schools.

The lessons are not grade specific, to allow educators to use it as an additional resource during Life Orientation lessons.

Most of the lessons in the workbook are linked to the subject of Life Orientation (CAPS). Teachers are encouraged to use it in conjunction with their text books. The workbook allows learners to engage with the topics in an interactive manner. It can be used to start and stimulate a group discussion on a particular topic as it is excellent source material.

Furthermore, this book contains critical information about communicable diseases, in particular Tuberculosis (TB). The workbook can also be used to set scenarios for examination papers or during formal and informal assessment tasks. In addition, each section in the book contains an extended writing section where learners can engage in writing activities.

The workbook is not a substitute for the text book, but should serve as a critical resource to raise the awareness of learners about TB. The WCED has intensified its efforts to raise learner awareness about the dangers of TB in our province’s schools. We trust that this useful, all round book will play a valuable role in the prevention of TB.

"As TB is one of the leading causes of death in South Africa, the WCED have decided to introduce more material into our schools to educate the learners about the prevention of TB," said Schäfer.

The WCED has run an extensive HIV and Aids programme for many years. We recently included TB in the programme, in line with national policy, which identifies TB as equally important as HIV. We also teach health awareness as part of Life Skills and Life Orientation in every grade. The curriculum covers tuberculosis in Grades 6 and 7.

Media Enquiries:

Jessica Shelver

Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer

Cell: 076 175 0663