Johannesburg – The Alcohol Industry has provided Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital a lifeline by providing its staff with personal protection equipment (PPE) worth R1.4 million on Sunday.
Sibani Mngadi, the spokesperson for the alcohol industry, said protecting the safety of frontline health workers was of paramount importance.
Earlier in the week, healthcare workers staged a temporary strike over the lack of PPE.
“Our proposed new social compact included a commitment to assist the government to supply PPE in combating the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“This is in addition to the industry’s commitment to invest R150m directly into harm reduction interventions and programmes over the coming year,” said Mngadi.
The industry worked with the Department of Health (DOH) and other government agencies to identify 24 critical hospitals in Covid-19 hotspot areas that urgently needed PPE.
Several hot-spot hospitals were identified:
• Gauteng: 6
• Western Cape: 5
• KwaZulu-Natal: 6
• Eastern Cape: 7
Mngadi stressed that all the PPE items would be medical grade, and would include masks (N95 and disposable), gloves, face shields, and coveralls/jumpsuits.
Dr Nkele Lesia, the CEO of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital expressed an appreciation for the industry support to the hospital which should reduce the exposure of the 6,000 employees of the hospital to potential infections.
“We are grateful that the alcohol industry saw it proper to donate PPE because our employees are at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19.”
The total planned investment of the PPE Project (procurement and distribution end-to-end) is R14m and the industry is working closely with the Department of Health to ensure the PPE was distributed effectively and efficiently to the hospitals in need.
“The pandemic has not passed. We must continue to collaborate and implement the new social compact that will ensure the safety of our frontline healthcare workers as well as preserving the life and the livelihoods of the country’s citizens,” Mngadi said.