Healthcare workers were treated at the University of the Western Cape’s annual wellness day for Community Rehabilitation Workers (CRWs) and Home-Based Carers.
Staff and students from UWC’s faculties of community and health sciences (CHS), law, dentistry and natural sciences provided the services on Wednesday March 30 and Thursday March 31.
“This engagement comes out of having identified that the home-based carers and community rehabilitation workers are an essential part of the health workforce in South Africa,” said Professor Firdouza Waggie, CHS deputy dean for clinical and community engagement
“They are at the frontline of bringing health and wellness services to the communities and currently are major role players in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and other diseases in communities,” said Professor Waggie.
“They are the first contact in the community. They walk from door-to-door to assist and help seniors and those in need of care. If we teach them self-care they will be good role models for patients,” said Professor Waggie.
UWC pharmacy student Duran Thomas said giving back was a beautiful experience.
“At times healthcare workers cannot get to these services in their daily jobs. The wellness day allows them to access all services as well as learn from them. This also creates awareness on anything they may be dealing with medically so that they can take action if need be.”
Psychologist and lecturer in UWC’s department of psychology, Zorina Noordien, said: “Healthcare workers are so busy that there’s no time to think how things may affect them. This can cause stress and burnout. Recognising this allows you to practice ways of managing it.”
“It is important that community healthcare workers focus on their mental health; spaces need to be created to support this,” she said.
Community healthcare worker from Arisen Women, Thandi Marabela said the services provided to them were much needed.
“This helps me so much, it helps us take care of ourselves as we don’t have time to do this.
Community healthcare worker, Ncumisa Smith said they take care of the community and at times forget to take care of themselves.
“Coming here made us aware of taking care of ourselves as well as others. I love what I do, I love helping people. At times it is dangerous walking to people’s houses to do our jobs. However we still do so in caution and we’re happy UWC gave us a space where we are cared for,” she said.
For more information on the UWC Fieldwork office, contact Labeeqah Jaffer, acting site office administrator on 072 213 1016 at the Mitchell’s Plain site or for the natural medicine office contact the office at 071 511 5983 or 084 398 1166 or 061 495 0095 or 084 310 1110.