Government funding and traditional channels of distribution are not covering personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers tending to home-based Covid19 patients. The Masks for Medics team launched a campaign for donations to bridge this gap, and provide essential PPE to the healthcare professionals that have seemingly been forgotten.

Masks for Medics has been established by a group of caring family doctors in Cape Town in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team operates from the understanding that individuals, families and communities need to be kept safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is therefore imperative that healthcare workers on the front line are provided with the necessary PPE to feel secure while they do their crucial, life-saving work.

Dr Anthony Smith, Dr Lauren Lee, Dr Sonia Hough, Dr Julie Etellin, Dr Sarahan Brophy and Dr Natalia Novikova are the committed doctors who make up the Masks for Medics team. They aim to deliver these services to beneficiaries in the Cape Town CBD, the Cape Flats and in the many township communities.

“In living memory, no doctor has seen the likes of what has swept the world over the past few months with the Covid-19 pandemic. After witnessing the toll the COVID-19 outbreak has had on China, Italy and New York, one thing is certain, we don’t know what we are in for and need to be prepared to avoid devastation,” says Dr. Anthony Smith

With the collective knowledge gained from COVID-19 experiences around the world, the Masks for Medics team are aware that hospitals may not be able to accommodate all diagnosed patients. Because of this, many patients will need to be cared for by healthcare workers and by family members, in their own homes.

Healthcare workers who tend to patients at home include nurses, care-givers, emergency respondents, doctors, mental health workers, palliative care workers, and anyone who is caring for very sick COVID-19 patients in their own homes. For this, PPE and other medical monitoring equipment is required.

The correct PPE ensures that healthcare workers don’t get infected. It also prevents them from infecting other healthy people. PPE includes gowns, masks, visors, gloves and sanitisers.

“There’s been so many campaigns to support frontline healthcare workers in hospitals across the country, which is immensely important. However, With our campaign, we are focusing on the forgotten; the home-based carers, the nurses caring for the elderly who are most susceptible to the virus, the paramedics and emergency response personnel called out to help those in need and the Palliative Care practitioners caring for those on their deathbeds,” says Dr. Smith

The campaign went live on May 14, and has thus far raised a total of R120 245 towards their fundraising target of R500 000.

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Picture: Pixabay

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.