A Dose Of Hope: Healthcare Workers reflect on pandemic and share wishes
We’re almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic and healthcare workers have been on the frontlines every day and night, saving lives. They have been exposed to COVID-19 infections, stress, loss after fellow healthcare heroes or loved ones passed away while continuing to manage other healthcare services to the public.
With the Western Cape now in the fourth wave of COVID-19, healthcare workers are holding onto hopes that members of the public will get their vaccines and practice safe behaviour as we approach a new year.
Dr Mumtaz Abbas from the Bishop Lavis Community Day Centre says healthcare teams are exhausted but have hope.
“My team and I have been through multiple rapid changes since the start of the pandemic; and we have learnt to do things differently and work differently. We are all trying our best to provide our patients with the best possible healthcare, but we are tired. We are at a point where we would like to go back to normal but at the same time trying to live with our new normal.”
Dr Abbas has called on the public to support healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19 by getting their vaccines.
“It’s been challenging to manage all our services along with running a COVID-19 unit and being a vaccine site. Our staff are stretched to cover all areas, but we work together as a team to provide our patients with a good and efficient service. My wish and hope for 2022 is that more patients visit our vaccine sites and get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination is important as it is our only hope in turning the tide against COVID-19. The public can help us turn the tide against COVD-19 by ensuring that they get vaccinated and encouraging friends and families to get vaccinated.”
Sr Adelia Vermeulen, an operational manager nursing at Karl Bremer Hospital, has appealed to the public to choose vaccination and safe behaviour amid the fourth wave.
“Our team has experienced many challenges and we took on the unknown virus, but we learnt together as a team and we’re still able to stand strong and provide the best healthcare to our residents. We still need your help. While we are fearful, we are now better equipped to deal with the virus, and we have the vaccine on our side. My wish for 2022 is that everyone chooses vaccination, it may not prevent you from getting COVID-19 but it can reduce your chances of being very sick due to the virus.”
Siphokazi Magwa, an Operational Nursing Manager at the Brackengate Hospital of Hope, says working as a nurse during the pandemic has not been easy but she’s thankful for support from loved ones and the public. Sr Magwa is working the night shift this month at the Brackengate field hospital that was commissioned in July 2020 to ensure that our healthcare system can respond during peaks of COVID-19 infections. “Working during the pandemic has been hectic. Although I had my fears, I adapted, and we received training and support to deal with everything. What was difficult was losing colleagues to the virus and also seeing patients pass away. Then we received the vaccine and with vaccination came hope as we know it can save lives. My wish is for people to take up vaccination and to keep safe by choosing safe behaviour this holiday season and every other day. It is important for people to remember that even if you are vaccinated, you can still get COVID-19 and you still need to adhere to COVID-19 protocols. We’re not free from getting the virus and each of us have a role to pay. You need to keep safe by wearing your mask, avoiding crowded spaces and large gatherings and getting vaccinated.”
Vaccination sites remain open to the public during the holiday season in the Western Cape. We urge members of the public who have not been vaccinated yet to do so by visiting their nearest vaccination site. You can get your free vaccination by taking your passport or ID, if you can, to a vaccine centre. Remember, pre-registration is not required.
Please call 0860 142 142 for more information on weekly vaccine sites or visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WCGHealth. Also watch local media and municipal pages for details on your area’s vaccination programme.
If you require more information on the vaccination programme, visit our credible, accurate information sharing portal on https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/vaccine.