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Wednesday, 01 March 2017

Nursing students aid in fight against measles

HELPING HAND: Nursing students help to vaccinate schoolchildren against measles HELPING HAND: Nursing students help to vaccinate schoolchildren against measles

CPUT nursing students have been participating in a mass immunisation campaign, which has helped to manage the outbreak of measles in the Cape Winelands District.

Recently the Western Cape Department of Health announced that there had been nine confirmed cases of measles, and a vaccination campaign was launched in a bid to prevent more people from contracting the illness.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness, which can be spread when a person with measles coughs or sneezes. If not looked after properly, it can cause brain damage and blindness.

Third-year and fourth-year BTech nursing students from the CPUT/Western Cape College of Nursing Boland Campus in Worcester lent a helping hand by assisting the Cape Winelands District with the vaccination of learners and children in affected areas in Stellenbosch, Drakenstein and the Breede River.

“Very high vaccination is required to create immunity,” says Liesl Strauss, head of the CPUT/WCCN Boland Overberg Campus.

According to Strauss several objectives were met by assisting the Department of Health in their campaign.

Among other things the students gained valuable work integrated learning experience by working with the health teams in the affected areas while interprofessional collaboration was enhanced. It also enhanced the image of nursing students and the training provider.

Strauss says nursing students need to learn and understand their social responsibility towards communities.

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za