Gift of the Givers Imtiaz Sooliman. Picture: Supplied
Gift of the Givers Imtiaz Sooliman. Picture: Supplied

Gift of the Givers intensifies operation in the Eastern Cape as second waves hit

By Jolene Marriah-Maharaj Time of article published Dec 10, 2020

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Durban – A day after it was announced that South Africa was in the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, director of the Gift of the Givers Imtiaz Sooliman said their operations have been intensified.

Sooliman said there was a cry of desperation from health-care workers in the Eastern Cape, who said they were not prepared for a second wave.

He said the concerns were raised by health-care workers – including hospital chief executives, senior nursing managers and doctors.

Gift of Givers delivered protective materials, non-contact thermometers and pulse oximeters and scrubs to Steynsburg Hospital in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Supplied

Sooliman said from speaking to them, it was pointed out that hospitals were full to capacity. “And not only the sections allocated for Covid-19 patients.”

Sooliman said while the hospital staff were not allowed to release the figures, they were told the casualty/emergency departments couldn’t cope. “The queues line the outside.”

He said hospitals urgently required personal protective equipment, sanitisers, pulse oximeters, non-contact thermometers and scrubs.

Sooliman said apart from resources, extra staffing was also required.

“According to health-care workers, many of the staff were on leave or in quarantine with no replacements.

“They were told that many health-care workers tested positive, some for a second time now with more symptoms then before.”

He said they expressed a deep fear as many of their colleagues and family members succumbed to the virus.

Sooliman said hospitals made a call for more oxygen, flow meters, oxygen gauges, splitters and oxygen masks.

“For health-care workers right now it's not a good place to be in, but what strikes immediately is the resilience, the inner strength, the commitment and the desire to serve, in spite of their own emotional and mental state.

“You witness the efforts to make it better in the face of all odds against them.”

Sooliman appealed to South Africans to stand up and be counted.

“This pandemic can never be managed by government alone, it requires the participation of all 60 million of us.

“Financial support, assistance with medical supplies, infrastructure upgrade and responsible behaviour is key.”

He said Gift of the Givers logistics division has been hard at work transporting supplies from Cape Town, Durban and Joburg to our Eastern Cape teams hard at work.

“These teams are urgently delivering KN95 and 3ply surgical masks, gloves, coveralls, sanitiser, thermometers, pulse oximeters, scrubs, stationery, backpacks, coffee, drinks, snacks and energy bars to 40 hospitals in the province.”

So far Gift of the Givers has supplied Bhisho Hospital with 120 beds, accompanying mattresses, 240 pillows and High Flow Nasal Oxygen machines.

“An infrastructure upgrade to provide accommodation for medical personnel is under consideration.”

Settler's Hospital in Makhand is undergoing a R750k infrastructure upgrade to increase bed capacity.

“Gift of the Givers teams arrived on December 5, the facility will officially open on December 15.

Sooliman said a better-quality N95 mask has been purchased and is on the way to the province.

“High flow nasal oxygen machines and consumables will be delivered soon.

“This challenge is only the beginning, calls are coming in from the Western Cape that they also need help.”

IOL

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