As South Africa continues to closely adjust to the effects of COVID-19, companies like
Johnson and Johnson have broadened the way in which they support South African
communities during this pandemic.
Earlier in the year, Johnson and Johnson announced its commitment to co-fund, develop
and trial a vaccine candidate and has since announced that they will move into the clinical trial phase, set to begin this month. Including leading the search for a vaccine candidate, the Company is also actively involved in COVID-19 response efforts across South Africa; committing over R15 million to the cause.
SA Community Impact Director at Johnson and Johnson, Laura Nel, talks about the
importance of serving communities and also adequately supporting healthcare professionals in the high pressured environment they are currently working through; “We recognise the high impact coronavirus has placed on the health care system and equally, on community dynamics in a short space of time and at a rapid pace, and so we have partnered with a number of organisations to fulfill our mission as a Company which is to support and champion the people on the front lines who are at the heart of delivering care, including nurses, midwives and community health workers.”
The Company has done this by identifying key areas that align with the key national and communal priorities, which include; increased mental resilience for healthcare workers and the factual dissemination of information to the population.
Some of the initiatives Johnson and Johnson has partnered with in the country are:
●Praekelt.org, a content design-led organisation that currently hosts the Nationwide
COVID-19 WhatsApp response line. This national line aims to efficiently inform
engaged users of the correct steps to take in the case you might have been
exposed to someone with coronavirus or are experiencing symptoms correlated to
“In this case, information and support is brought to the patient, rather than the
patient having to seek it out online or through word-of-mouth. This form of
information dissemination is from a trusted source, which is the National
Department of Health and therefore ticks all the right boxes,” adds Nel.
●The company, through the Public Health Enhancement Fund, assisted in equipping
1frontline workers with mobile devices to effectively record and access necessary
information while in the field.
●In order to ensure community care workers can cope and are supported during this
time, Johnson and Johnson has partnered with the DG Murray Trust to provide
psychological support to this community of essential workers through virtual
support structures like (give an example)
●In addition to this, the Company has taken similar steps to ensure over 2500
doctors and ICU nurses are trained in mental resiliency and PTSD in partnership
with the Foundation for Professional Development.
●More than 29,000 families in vulnerable communities across the country received
much needed consumer health products facilitated through a partnership with
●The Solidarity fund: An undisclosed amount of financial aid was donated to the
Solidarity Fund to assist in reaching more vulnerable communities and businesses
in the country; amongst other initiatives.