Covid-19: Ga-Rankuwa health fieldworkers call for protective gear
Pretoria - Health fieldworkers looking after the frail and elderly residents of Ga-Rankuwa, north of Pretoria are pleading with the government to supply them with protective gear to help keep them safe while working in the community.
Sinah Masilo, a health fieldworker stationed at the Phedisong Clinic in zone one, said even though they understood the need for them to continue working despite the lockdown, they were dismayed that their safety needs were practically being ignored.
Masilo said all 42 field workers she was working with were still going out to deliver chronic medication and assist with other health needs required by the elderly on a day to day basis but they had no gloves or masks to work with.
“These workers don’t have wipes, sanitisers, gloves or masks to work with and no one has been able to give us guidelines on how we are going to continue working. Instead, we’re being told to keep the work going and give health talks to the people.”
“When you walk into the clinic all the nursing staff are protected and safe. But when we ask them to give us some of those supplies to keep us safe they tell us that they have nothing.”
To make matters worse, Masilo said they had even resorted to holding their meetings outside the clinic on the pavement as the regional ANC offices they normally used were closed.
Khensani Mlambo, another fieldworker, said even though the clinic was supposed to help them with supplies, they had to make their own means to get whatever they could.
“There are many elderly residents in this community many of whom can’t even get out of bed, cook or even bathe themselves and they need these children who are going out to risk their lives, she said.”
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