SAMWUMED encourages its members on both Option A and Option B to visit their nearest pharmacy for a Pneumococcal vaccine. This would not be at an additional cost to members, as it is already included in the member benefits.

According to the Centres for Diseases Control & Prevention (CDC), Pneumococcus is not only one of the most common causes of severe pneumonia, but it is a serious disease that can cause many other types of illnesses, including ear infections, sinus and meningitis (infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord).

Untreated, Pneumococcus can result in hospitalisation and death in some instances.

Adults and children are at risk of getting the disease, although others at a greater risk than others. For instance, children at increased risk of pneumococcal disease are younger than two (2) years old who have illnesses such as- HIV, diabetes, chronic heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease.

Adults between the ages of 19 and 65 years or older are also at increased risk of getting the disease, especially those already suffering from chronic illnesses such as: – heart, liver, kidney, diabetes or lung disease.

Pneumococcal Pneumonia or lung infection is the most common form of Pneumococcal disease. Symptoms include:-fever and chills, cough, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing as well as chest pains.

The disease is passed from person-to-person by direct contact with saliva or mucus.

“The best way to prevent the disease is through vaccination, says Ms Sindisiwe Ngcobo, SAMWUMED’s Clinical Risk Consultant.

“Fortunately SAMWUMED members qualify for this vaccination as part of their medical aid benefits”, Ms Ngcobo added. She explained further that the vaccination needs to be taken only once in a lifetime.

“We call on our members over 64 years and those who have children around the ages of two years to visit their pharmacies and get vaccinated. All they need to do is to show their SAMWUMED membership card to get the vaccination.

 

For further information, they can visit: www.samwumed.org or call the Call Centre on 021 697 9000.