A woman is tested for Covid-19. Health practitioners in the country have stepped up screening to safeguard vulnerable informal settlements. Picture: AP
A woman is tested for Covid-19. Health practitioners in the country have stepped up screening to safeguard vulnerable informal settlements. Picture: AP

University of Pretoria shows way with holistic health support

By Liam Ngobeni Time of article published Apr 23, 2020

Share this article:

Pretoria - Health practitioners in the country have stepped up screening to safeguard vulnerable informal settlements.

Dr Ellenore Meyer from the University of Pretoria (UP) said there was a critical need for holistic health interventions to competently address poverty and ultimately to impede the spread of the virus within the most vulnerable, high-density communities.

“The University of Pretoria’s Department of Family Medicine has developed a highly efficient Covid-19 screening protocol that provides holistic health support to communities in need.”

She said there was a huge opportunity for the government, as well as organisations looking to address the pandemic, to adopt this proficient protocol and partner with the department to curb the spread and effects of Covid-19.

“For over seven years, the department has established itself as a partner for health care for the most vulnerable communities in Tshwane.

“Community Orientated Primary Care, a service-learning model of the Family Medicine Department, has established an efficient holistic health support network for three informal settlements in Pretoria.”

In each of these settlements, which include Zama Zama, Melusi and Woodlane Village, weekly clinics are offered and residents from the communities are employed as community health workers who conduct visits to up to 250 assigned households.

“We believe person-centric care is critical in addressing poverty. We get to know our community so we know how to help them - and we’ve spent years establishing a trusted relationship with them.

“Our holistic health support approach focuses on four essential components: health, social stability, education and opportunity,” she said.

Meyer said with the start of the Covid-19, the community health worker teams on each site were specially trained.

“This training was based on a specific protocol developed based on input from infectious disease specialists, as well as extensive research and experience.”

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's  #Coronavirus trend page.
** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za

Pretoria News

Share this article: