Foundation aids fight against Covid-19

Foundation CEO, Trevor Pols, stands next to some of the donated PVC curtains at Khayelitsha District Hospital.

The SA Medical and Education Foundation (SAME) has handed over R1.6 million worth of life-saving equipment to Khayelitsha District Hospital (KDH) to help in the fight against Covid-19.

The foundation donated ultrasound monitors and closed transport incubators, re-purposed certain rooms to treat Covid-19 patients and installed 206 PVC curtains.

Foundation CEO, Trevor Pols, took Vukani and some of their donors around the hospital on Thursday June 4 to see the life-saving equipment.

Mr Pols said the PVC curtains around beds would acts as screens between patients and help to stop cross-infection.

He said the emergency unit at KDH was designed to accommodate 13 patients but now it had 20 patients.

With our health-care system already overburdened, he said, it was important for the foundation to intervene and assist.

He believes that the outbreak will get much worse in the upcoming weeks.

When government lifted the restrictions on the sale of alcohol, the hospital emergency unit had a huge influx of patients coming in with alcohol-related injuries. These cases were taking up spaces that could be used to treat Covid-19 patients.

He said the KDH, Tygerberg Hospital as well as Chris Hani Baragwanath and Tembisa hospitals in Gauteng and were among the first hospitals in the country to receive their urgent intervention, focusing on life-saving medical equipment.

“In total we have spent R12 million nationwide through donating life-saving equipment. The doctors and nurses are now always tired because of the influx of patients since the unbanning of alcohol.

“The faster we could help the more lives we could save. There is a greater need of behavioural change from our communities.

“We have also donated 16 beds. Through the donation, we have made the lives of doctors bit easier and if we had not donated these beds the patients would be lying on the floor. We have are very grateful of what we have managed to do but we want to do more,” he said.

Chairperson of the Khayelitsha Health Forum, Mzanyawo Ndibhongo, heaped praise on the SAME Foundation’s efforts to help the hospital.

Mr Ndibhongo said it was pleasing to see non-government organisations stepping up.

But he urged the government to play a more significant role and not talk about their plans and fail to implement them.

He said nurses and doctors at the hospital were in great need of personal protection equipment (PPE) and hoped that the government would provide them with it as soon as possible.

He said they were clueless about the millions which the government had allocated to fight the virus.

He also urged the government to make use of local BnBs in the community as quarantine facilities instead of pumping funds into already well-off hotels.