The Ministry of Higher Education is engaging its Health counterpart to ensure that workers and volunteers in the sector’s higher health initiative are vaccinated along with healthcare workers in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Higher Health has ensured the wellness of all students and staff at universities around the country.
Government says the delivery date of the first million doses of COVID-19 vaccine should be confirmed this week.
Briefing the media, Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande said the Higher Health initiative has been a vital component the sector’s fight against the pandemic.
Nzimande says, “Higher health has also capacitated and developed over 30 000 campus-based frontline institutional staff and student volunteers. The frontline healthcare workers of higher health must be included amongst the rest of the healthcare workers to be amongst the first to be vaccinated. We are working closely with the Department of Health on this score.”
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The higher health initiative addresses the mental health needs of the 2 million students and staff who make up the university and college community.
In a statement Nzimande said, “South Africa must take note of statements by the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and local experts, that the mental health and wellbeing of whole societies have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are an urgent priority.”
He added that physical and psychological health go together and South Africa is currently learning about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the health of people of different ages, their respiratory, muscular and neurological wellbeing.
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