“Please be vigilant, as we are entering August, we expect a significant rise in infections, adhere to all non-pharmaceutical measures to flatten the curve.”
A message of caution given to the community by Sister Heather Ferreira the Head nurse at the Rhodes University Health Care Centre.
She makes this public plea as she has encountered many citizens who think the pandemic is not real.
Stating that “many people still don’t take this pandemic seriously. Many walk around without masks, many gather in big groups having a good time. I’ve had staff entering the HCC without a mask, claiming they forgot it”.
Like many frontline workers and as a member of society, she also had to adjust and adhere to the new rules and regulations because she has witnessed the detriments of the virus.
Sister Ferreira has been a champion and hero for her colleagues, family and community during this difficult time by saying yes to the call to serve while many had the option to stay home.
She says the pandemic has dramatically changed her approach to work and overall nursing duties. At the HCC they no longer take patients with flu-like symptoms before a full assessment and after they have been assessed, they then give pre-packed flu medication to reduce the risk for the staff.
“The work has dramatically changed from everyday nursing of minor ailments and chronics to screening for COVID 19 and working outdoors. Infection control is at the forefront of our daily planning.”
To ensure that the work does not stop, they have divided their team into two groups “we work in 2 teams to ensure that we always have staff on the ground in case of COVID 19 exposure or clinic contamination”.
Putting herself and the lives of her family at risk every day, and still choosing to help fight this pandemic and save lives. She says she finds strength in her colleagues and her family. “I would not have been so strong if it was not for my family’s continued support and love. I find my strength in God ,my family and the support of my staff and superiors.”