The Gift of the Givers continues to provide assistance in the Eastern Cape as coronavirus (COVID-19) infections multiply rapidly.
The organisation is equipping several outlying hospitals in the province in order to reduce the number of patients being referred to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. This will alleviate some of the pressure on exhausted health care workers in major centres.
A disused wing of the Settlers Hospital in Makhanda has now been converted to a COVID-19 isolation facility with high care and oxygen points. This will ease the burden on frontline workers.
Beds, mattresses, blankets and PPE have also been provided.
CEO of Gift of the Givers, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman says, “We saw these two wards and asked why are they empty. They said it belonged to a private hospital, they have left everything closed, and they don’t have funds to refurbish it. I asked if we fund it, will you put patients in there? She said, ‘yes’ in 2 minutes. It wasn’t long waits for beaurocracy – it is an emergency. Within three days we sent in the building team, and in five days they finished the job.”
Healthcare workers like the acting CEO of the Settlers Hospital, Nyameka Ngesi, have welcomed the initiative.
“We’ve been having COVID patients flocking to casualty and we didn’t have beds for them. We had to ask for assistance from neighbouring hospitals. But this is a relief. With the extra 20 beds, we can accommodate those patients.”
Makhanda Mayor, Mzukisi Mpahlwa, says this is a good example of co-operation between the private sector and government.
“Government does not have all the resources that are needed to deliver for the communities. That is why we want partnerships with organisations and the private sector. so that they can complement the resources that government has,” says Mpahlwa.
In addition, Gift of the Givers supplied 15 beds in Willowmore Hospital, 20 beds in the Margery Parks hospital in Graaff Reinet, and they are supplying PPE for 40 hospitals in the Eastern Cape.
Bhisho Hospital is also undergoing a R3 million renovation of the staff quarters to ensure that there are extra doctors on standby in the hospital. This initiative will also be expanded to other small towns in the Eastern Cape.
In the video below, Eastern Cape residents receive boreholes from Gift of the Givers:
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