A Special Meeting with the Department of Health to discuss readiness of institutions to deal with the Coronavirus named COVID-19
The Chairperson Hon N Majola fires series of questions to the senior management as the Committee seeks assurance on the readiness of health institutions.
The Chairperson for the Health Portfolio Committee Hon Nomakiki Majola and her Committee has called for the department to make presentations on the readiness of Health Institutions to manage the spread of Coronavirus. This was after the Chair had visited various Health Institutions across the province. These include Greys, Addington, Ngwelezane, and Manguzi hospitals. In her findings the Chair was not so pleased with the state of readiness as there were several infrastructural adjustments that had to be put in place to ensure that the isolation rooms are equipped to admit patients. For instance, in Addington hospital’s air-conditioning in the designated facility, Addington had better facilities although some adjustments were needed, this was according to the Chairperson Hon Majola. She added that Ngwelezane and Manguzi hospitals were also in a much better state.
The MEC for Health Hon Nomagugu Simelane said although Grey’s Hospital was one of the designated institutions by the National department, the Provincial department of Health decided to further designate a few others, “because of the vast province we have, we cannot only have one institution. These include four Regional hospitals, namely, Madadeni, Newcastle, Ladysmith, and Edendale. “We do not have any confirmed cases in our province, the MEC continued “the three cases that were suspected were simply because they worked for Chinese shops, this was just a false alarm, if you were top say”.
The Portfolio Committee in its Special Meeting with the Department of Health
The discussion was extended to include the training of staff which the department confirmed to have taken place, and ensured the Committee that issues of waste management in cases of death and general management of the infected patients was properly addressed to eliminate human to human transmission. There is also an assurance of ongoing contact between the department and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in which revised case definitions are distributed regularly to all health facilities through their Communicable Disease Control Coordinators.
The Committee was assured that additional hospitals had been identified for renovations of their Isolation wards or units to meet the requirements for future use and management of confirmed cases. These are Dundee, Vryheid, Emmause and Murchison District hospitals.
Members were of the Committee impressed on the Department the importance of running media campaigns including newspaper adverts where community awareness campaigns can be reinforced.
What is Coronavirus:
“A virus that causes infection in the nose, Sinuses, or upper throat which may complicate into lower respiratory infection resulting in pneumonia. Affected individuals present with upper respiratory infections symptoms like a stuffy nose, cough, sore throat and fever. The Coronavirus is spread through infected people coughing, and sneezing by touching, an infected persons hand or face, or even touching doorknobs touched by infected people”.