South Africa: Healthcare Heroes - Memorial to Hospital Workers Unveiled

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A unique memorial to those in the frontlines of an ongoing crisis has been launched at a dialogue organised by the Board of Healthcare Funders to celebrate women healthcare workers as part of Women's Month.

The Healthcare Workers Heroes Memorial aims to recognise and remember all those "who have fallen in the line of duty". Yet, unlike soldiers, for whom monuments and memorials were traditionally constructed, the duty of those who fell in the Covid-19 "war" was not to take lives but to save lives. They lost their lives saving others. They could have stayed at home and refused to work. They didn't. They followed their calling and worked in the line of fire.

Not surprisingly, it was a unique and moving event.

Before an audience of 150 mainly women health workers, an evanescent and simple digitally constructed list unfurled, containing the names of many of those who have died. As the memorial list (watch it here) rolled on and on, it made you grasp the scale of the catastrophe that is Covid-19.

We have been through epidemics before - of HIV and of tuberculosis, of Ebola and other infectious diseases - but this one has taken an unprecedented toll...

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