The organisation pledged to assist wherever it can, offering medical supplies and support to other agencies fighting the crisis.
The Gift of the Givers has opened a testing facility to assist the government with COVID-19 testing procedures in Gauteng.
They are also offering support to Gauteng-based state hospitals, providing extra protective garments and medical supplies as the caseloads mount up in the province.
The facility, opened in Johannesburg, will provide much needed support to the medical practitioners and healthcare workers who have been working around the clock to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained.
Testing at these sites is subsidised and at R750 costs significantly less than at private laboratories. The cost of a test at private facilities can be as much as R1 500.
Another two sites, in Vereeniging and Ahmed Al-Kadi Hospital in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), are set to be up and running at the end of the week as the country heads into lockdown.
Healthcare centres desperate for equipment
Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said that the calls from medical centres were all quite similar.
“Requests from all quarters are very similar: N-95 protective mask, 3-tier lower cost mask for selected patients, scrub suits, hand sanitisers, disinfectant, sterile gloves, disposable sterile gowns, goggles, visors, ventilators and related equipment,” he said.
“Chris Hani Baragwanath, Raheema Moosa and Helen Joseph Hospitals have requested tents, protective wear and consumables. They want these tents OUTSIDE the existing hospital infrastructure to reduce risk to the other patients who may be immunocompromised. We have funded this already at R700 000 per month.” he said.
Partnership with Vuma
The organisation has partnered with a mobile provider Vuma Mobile, a network of healthcare professionals, which will allow them to distribute their services and provisions wherever they are needed.
Sooliman said that his organisation is also involved in providing to support outside of the medical sphere, as various government departments try to grapple with the crisis.
“The National Health Minister is fully appraised of our intervention through the Deputy Director of emergency and disaster medicine in the department, Ahmed Bham, who was appointed by the minister to lead the team to repatriate South Africans from Wuhan,” Sooliman said.
“Ahmed is head of Gift of the Givers Search and Rescue team. He is currently in charge of the Quarantine Centre at The Ranch.”
“Various health departments, disaster management services nationwide and a MEC have requested a partnership with Gift of the Givers to deal with the anticipated health challenges.”
Source: The South African Read More