The provincial Health Department had in place measures to ensure that the mental and physical well-being of staff was cared for. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency
The provincial Health Department had in place measures to ensure that the mental and physical well-being of staff was cared for. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Call for support for health-care workers nearly 500 days after first Covid cases

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Aug 5, 2021

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Cape Town - Nearly 500 days after the first cases of Covid-19 were detected in the Western Cape, residents are urged to keep in mind the physical and mental exhaustion faced by health-care workers as they continue steadfast at the front lines.

Provincial Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said the department acknowledged that staff “are and have been under pressure” throughout the pandemic.

“One of the key elements in our six-point Covid-19 strategy is to safeguard and protect the well-being of our staff as they deal with Covid-related matters and the normal emergency and routine health services. There have been no incidents reported to the department of fatigue leading to errors by any medical practitioner,” said Van der Heever.

The department had in place measures to ensure that the mental and physical well-being of staff was cared for.

“During the previous waves the department started a ‘Healing Journey’, where staff can participate and reach out for support. As part of the healing journey, we implemented ‘intentional leave’ and encouraged our staff to take leave so they can recuperate and recover after waves,” said Van der Heever.

Additional staff and support staff have also been appointed with 804 additional staff for Covid-19, and 1 147 health-care workers and support staff and 442 interns for the vaccination drive.

Should the need arise, 761 more people can be appointed.

Melomed head office group marketing manager Shameema Adams said that all over, staff are facing exhaustion with increased working hours together with the stress of having more patients per provider.

“Health-care workers also have anxiety of spreading the virus to their families, especially to those who are elderly or have a chronic medical condition,” said Adams.

“There is not a day that goes by when we are not recognising the tireless efforts and sacrifices of our health-care workers and we continuously look at ways of supporting and encouraging our staff.

“We therefore ask the general public to assist and support where possible. The prayers and supporting messages have been so welcome and heart-warming, and we ask that you continue to pray for the well-being of our front-line workers.”

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