South African health facilities ready for World Cup

[Image] Football fans have received assurance
that South Africa’s health facilities are
capable of handling any emergency
during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
(Image: South African Red Cross)

South Africa’s health facilities – both hospitals and clinics – are ready for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the government has assured fans. South Africa is ready to provide health services of an international standard to football fans who travel to the country for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, boasting facilities that are in line with health infrastructure guarantees made to Fifa on being awarded the tournament.

A comprehensive health and medical response service will be available on a 24-hour basis over the duration of the tournament.

The country’s state of readiness for health care was tested during the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup with great success.

Comprehensive medical services are available in different areas during the duration of the tournament

  • The National Health Operations Centre will link to all provinces, ensuring real-time monitoring, collating and reporting on the roll-out of the health plan, as well as the occurrence of any incidents.
  • Medical response personnel will be deployed on the most frequently used routes during the event. The 2010 Medical Volunteer Programme was also established to recruit volunteers with specialised skills in the medical fraternity to bolster the number of World Cup deployments. Free primary healthcare will be available to all spectators at official venues, including a script or referral to a health facility if necessary.
  • Dispensing machines will be situated throughout the stadiums for basic drug purchases. Twenty-four-hour pharmacies will be in place for the duration of the event.

South Africa has the necessary plans in place to deal with any major disruptions during the tournament

  • A comprehensive disaster-management plan has been developed to deal with any major disruption during the tournament.
  • All the possible risks that could cause major disruptions have been identified and the necessary risk reduction measures have been developed, tested and implemented.
  • The emergency preparedness of stadiums, fan parks and other public viewing areas are in place.
  • Disaster Management Centres in host cities and provinces will cater for any possible disasters such as floods, fires and/or any major transport or utility services disruption.


The country will deal decisively with the outbreak of diseases in line with its comprehensive disease control plan

  • Special measures have been put in place to ensure that all international ports of entry are properly monitored in terms of health related issues.
  • Public awareness information, outbreak indicators and strengthening existing disease outbreak policies and systems have been undertaken.
  • We have detailed plans for vaccinations against possible disease outbreaks and the National Institute of Communicable Disease issues regular updates on any outbreak.
  • There is no risk of Rift Valley Fever to visitors as the disease typically only affects ruminants such as sheep, cattle and goats.
  • The Department of Health has developed the Notifiable Medical Conditions Early Warning Surveillance System to provide daily epidemiological reports on health events of public importance.

Source: South African Government Information