South African non-profit organisation Gift of the Givers has put plans in place to bolster public health care services by offering discounted Covid-19 tests at some hospitals.
While the health system is facing a daunting task of tending to thousands suspected of having or diagnosed with the deadly virus, Gift of the Givers head Imtiaz Sooliman said they were trying to "augment public health services".
"Providing affordable testing is [an] essential aspect of the management process. Gift of the Givers has set up a facility in Johannesburg for the purpose at the discounted, subsidised rate of R750."
He said this would include consultation, specimen collection, courier charges, lab testing in a National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) approved, SANAS accredited laboratory, and that the admin costs related to feeding back to the NICD.
"Our second test site in Roshnee and the third site at Ahmed Al Kadi Hospital in Durban will be up and running later this week."
Helping healthcare workers
Sooliman said they would also aim to assist healthcare workers who are under severe strain during the pandemic.
"[We are] supporting medical professionals with protective wear, supplying relevant essential medical equipment and providing medical consumables to the institutions in urgent need."
He said there were "requests from all quarters" for N-95 protective masks, 3-tier lower-cost masks for selected patients, scrub suits, hand sanitisers, disinfectant, sterile gloves, disposable sterile gowns, goggles, visors, ventilators and related equipment.
Sooliman said they would also provide tents, protective wear and consumables for Chris Hani Baragwanath, Raheema Moosa and Helen Joseph hospitals upon their request.
"They want these tents outside the existing hospital infrastructure to reduce risk to the other patients who may be immunocompromised. We have funded this already at R700 000 per month. Installation is tomorrow."
He said Gift of the Givers would also drill boreholes for key sites like schools and hospitals.
"[This is so we can] deliver clean water for drinking and hygiene seven days a week. We have three water tankers for the purpose."
If you would like to assist, contributions to Gift of the Givers should be made to Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account number 052137228, Branch code 057525, reference: Corona.
Contributions of relevant medical equipment and consumables are also welcomed.