Community health centres work closely with NGOs

Ingrid Dreyer, a community care worker for Arisen Women, covers her cough with an arm.

“Any acute care will be available to patients all of the time. We are de-escalating the non-essential surgery and clinics to protect the community – the non-emergency services,” he said.

Dr Jacek Marszalek, Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital medical manager, said non-essential surgeries and services had been put on hold and that wards and theatre spaces had been rearranged to make space for possible Covid-19 positive patients.

“We are doing the changes in the hospital to increase capacity for patients. Creating different spaces to increase capacity to take in patients with suspected disease.

“Termination of pregnancy (TOP) services have been moved from Build a Better Society (BABS) in Aster Road, Kewtown; Heideveld community health centre (CHC) patients will go to a container just outside of the facility; Nyanga (CHC) patients will be referred to Zolani Sport and Recreation Centre, in Terminus Road, Nyanga; Gugulethu patients can go across the road to Masiphumelele school; Crossroads patients will go to a community hall opposite the facility; and Browns Farm (Inzame Zabantu) Community Health Centre patients will go to Ruth First community hall.

Fatima Peters, health programmes deputy director, said they worked closely with NGOs who rendered services at patients’ homes.

The organisations receiving funding from the government include Cape Flats YMCA , which takes care of Mitchell’s Plain, including Beacon Valley, Eastridge, Town Centre and Portland, Tafelsig; Arisen Women in Weltevreden, including Kosovo Informal Settlement, Weltevreden Valley North 1 and 2, Isiqalo, Heinz Park, Rocklands, Westridge and West Gate; TB HIV Care services patients from Brown’s Farm, and are based at Inzam Zabantu; Philani takes care of Boy’s Town, Crossroads SP, Gqobasi Informal Settlement, Philippi SP – East and Park; and Opportunity to Serve Ministry (OTSM) Home-Based Care caregivers at Lentegeur and Mandalay community health Centres serves residents in Colorado Park, Lentegeur, Woodlands and Mandalay.

These arrangements might change according to the authorities’ need to contain the virus.

Mr Ramaphosa on Monday March 23 announced a lockdown, which only permits essential service providers to continue working.

During his speech he thanked health workers, doctors, nurses and paramedics, who were at the forefront of the pandemic.

Since the national state of disaster was declared, a range of regulations and directives were put into place including the restriction on international travel, prohibition of gathering of more than 100 people, closing of schools and other educational institutions and restricting the sale of alcohol after 6pm.

Mr Ramaphosa reiterated calls for citizens to wash their hands frequently, with hand sanitiser or soap and water; cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow; and to avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

“Everyone must do everything within their means to avoid contact with other people,” he
said.

The National Coronavirus Command Council decided to enforce a nation-wife lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday March 26 until Thursday April 16 .

“This decisive measure is to save millions of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,” he said.

For more specific information call the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) hotline on 080 002 9999, which operates seven days a week and 24 hours.