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FirstRand HOPE Fund breathes life into Post-Covid-19 unit

2021-08-11  Staff Reporter

FirstRand HOPE Fund breathes life into Post-Covid-19 unit

The FirstRand HOPE Fund recently announced its support towards the Schalk Steyn Post-Covid-19 Unit with an amount of N$300 000. 

“We are extremely grateful to the FirstRand Namibia HOPE Fund for their generous support, and look forward to being able to concentrate our efforts to help patients without medical aids. If we can help the poor or financially stranded patients, it will make our envisaged Schalk Steyn Post-Covid-19 Unit unique,” said Dr Rian van Schalkwyk of the Bel Esprit Clinic in Windhoek. 

 Dr van Schalkwyk explained that the unit was recently opened at the clinic, catering for post-Covid-19 patient recovery and rehabilitation from 10 days after a positive PCR test. The aim of the unit is to take the pressure off hospitals and help create space to admit critically-ill patients. “Schalk Steyn fought the virus with so much bravery, but in the end, he lost the battle. We would like to celebrate his life and his fight by naming this unit in his honour.” 

 Revonia Kahivere, FirstRand Namibia Corporate Social Investment Manager, explained that the funds will be directed towards those patients who have no medical aid, and will be used to cover the hospital charges, nurse and nursing sister costs and related costs for those patients. We are humbled to be in a position to help, and recognise that our assistance might contribute to saving a precious Namibian life,” she noted. 

The clinic has provided the unit with 16 beds for the beginning phase, with an option to increase the capacity to 32 beds if necessary. “Bel Esprit is still functioning as a hospital, but we would also like to include and welcome post-Covid-19 patients still dependent on oxygen or for further rehabilitation. The unit will see to patients who are still dependent on oxygen but can leave the hospital, or patients from home who require oxygen in any form. We are open to patients who need care, but not in a high-care or ICU setup,” explained Dr van Schalkwyk

He added that the unit would see to patients’ hydration, nutrition, physiotherapy and psychological needs as post Covid-19 complications can be very debilitating. Thus far, a highly experienced registered nurse, trained in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, has been appointed as well as another nursing sister. As the need arises, more nurses will be added to the staff complement. 

“We are using the care worker of the facility without extra cost, and we currently have five doctors willing to assist in the unit,” added Van Schalkwyk. The unit has thus far received a donation of nine oxygenators, two big oxygen tanks, two CPAP machines, masks, sanitisers and miscellaneous items. 


2021-08-11  Staff Reporter

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