Heeding President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of a national state of disaster in South Africa back in March 2020, Gift of the Givers has taken on the challenge to support South Africa’s Covid-19 response and to ensure the protection of front-line healthcare workers.
The non-profit organisation specializes in disasters and has thus far provided medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), mobile Covid-19 testing and screening units and food relief.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest disaster we’ve had in our lifetime. The challenge was huge in 2020 because we don’t allow existing projects to drop. We are involved locally and internationally. Fortunately, we are very well organised in terms of logistics and supplying aid. We have fantastic teams who are hard-working,” said Dr Imtiaaz Sooliman, founder of the organisation.
During the second wave, one of the biggest challenge’s hospitals have been facing is that they have been running out of oxygen machines, said Sooliman. However, the South African National Ventilator Group designed Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines which are used for effective oxygen delivery. He added that “The feedback on these machines has been absolutely magnificent”.
So far the organization has:
Provided PPE to two hundred hospitals and clinics around the country.
Set up Ten Covid-19 testing sites throughout the country with three mobile teams.
Provided six staff to assist Livingstone Hospital in June and in December, nineteen new paramedics joined.
Put up 37 triage tents near several hospitals around the country at a cost of R3 million per month.
Developed Freesia ward in Mitchells Plain at a cost of R10 million.
Developed a new 20-bed Covid-19 isolation facility at Settlers Hospital in Grahamstown.
Renovated a wing for doctors’ accommodation at Bisho Hospital.
Delivered at least 12 000 CPAP respiratory units to hospitals nationwide.
South Africa’s Covid-19 cases stand at over 1.1 million, while more than 31 000 people have died.