AfroCentric has pledged to use its network of 3000 registered nurses to provide over 150000 vaccinations per day, given the right conditions. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)
AfroCentric has pledged to use its network of 3000 registered nurses to provide over 150000 vaccinations per day, given the right conditions. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Black-owned group ready to assist with vaccine

By Given Majola Time of article published Jan 17, 2021

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DURBAN - A BLACK-owned diversified health solutions company has pledged to use its network of 3000 registered nurses, who will travel throughout the country, and to provide over 150000 vaccinations per day, given the right conditions.

AfroCentric this week said it would use its resources to help meet the National Department of Health’s phased approach for delivery, in partnership with the private sector, for the 1.25 million front-line health-care workers prioritised for Phase 1 and 16 million essential workers and high-risk people prioritised for Phase 2.

AfroCentric chief executive Ahmed Banderker said the group was working closely with the government to procure Covid19 vaccines as soon as they were approved by the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority and had the infrastructure to rapidly distribute the vaccines, maintaining the cold chain to all corners of South Africa.

“We have already dispensed more than 10million prescriptions in 2020,” said Bandeker.

AfroCentric’s membership base of over 3.8million includes members of GEMS, Polmed, Bonitas, MediPos and other medical schemes that support South Africa’s front-line workers.

“These are the doctors, nurses, policemen and women who keep us all safe and healthy. They are the postal workers who pay our sorely needed pensions and grants, and the teachers that mould the next generation of leaders,” Banderker said. “They are the lifeblood of our nation. We are proud to do everything in our power to ensure they are vaccinated and strong enough to carry our country forward.”

Banderker said the network of nurses would be mobilised and enabled through mobile technology to take the service to AfroCentric members.

He said the nurses would provide services on an appointment basis at AfroCentric and Medscheme branches, occupational health and primary health clinics nationwide, on-site at the members’ place of work and would follow up with members afterwards to monitor their response to the vaccine.

Banderker said it also had an extensive network of international suppliers and would source WHO-prescribed PPE for healthcare workers to enable them to administer vaccines safely without risk to themselves or our members.

He said while AfroCentric members were taken care of according to the hierarchy of needs determined by the National Department of Health, the group would also work with the government to roll out vaccinations to the rest of the country. “We believe that investing in our people and communities is of great importance as we work towards enhancing quality of life for all South Africans,” Banderker said.

Meanwhile, FedEx Express, which transported the first shipments of the highly anticipated Covid-19 vaccines in the US, said it was ready to ship them around the world.

The company said it was prepared to play its part to ensure the successful distribution of the vaccines in the sub-Saharan Africa region.

FedEx Express regional president of Middle East, Indian subcontinent and Africa, Jack Muhs said: “We are working closely with health-care customers, alongside government officials and regulatory agencies, to prepare for the shipment of vaccines when they are approved and ready.”

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