Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) teamed up with the Department of Health to put together a temporary COVID-19 treatment facility.

Built near the Khayelitsha District Hospital, this 60-bed facility began operation today [June 1] and will run for three months with a full medical staff, six doctors and eight nurses. The field hospital has been built inside of a sports hall and has been designated an “intermediate care bed facility”. Patients will receive all essential medication to manage co-morbidities and oxygen supply to support patients with breathing difficulties.

“It is a reality that if the epidemic peaks as predicted, a certain number of people will fall ill and need treatment. Increasing healthcare capacity in an attempt to meet that increased demand is the best way to be prepared to try to save lives. Acknowledging that sadly some will be lost and we can’t save everyone, we still see this field hospital as a real plus for people in need in Khayelitsha,” said Dr Eric Goemaere, project leader, in a statement. 

The facility has been put together to serve the Khayelitsha community but will accept patients from other areas depending on capacity.

To convert the sports hall into an appropriate hospital, ventilation needed to be installed to improve airflow and beds with adequate spacing and partition set up.

“This partnership with MSF has been essential for us at the Khayelitsha District Hospital, given the bed pressure brought about by COVID-19. Having this field hospital right across the road from us makes it easier, and helps to allay fears in the community,” said Dr Trevor Mnguni, a member of the Khayelitsha District Hospital team.

Watch the transformation here:

Picture: Doctors Without Borders

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