Transnet healthcare trains to boost Covid-19 testing in Eastern Cape, KZN

The Solidarity Fund, together with the Transnet Foundation and the NHLS, have supplied testing kits and PPE to frontline healthcare staff on Phelophepa I and II, two of the foundation’s healthcare trains.
Image: SOLIDARITY FUND

Dedicated doctors and nurses with training in Covid-19 testing are expected to visit underserviced areas across both provinces from May 18.

Covid-19 testing in underserviced areas in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal has been boosted by two Transnet healthcare trains, which have been converted into mobile testing stations.

The Solidarity Fund, together with the Transnet Foundation and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) supplied testing kits and personal protective equipment to frontline healthcare staff on Phelophepa I and II, two of the Transnet Foundation’s healthcare trains.

Dedicated doctors and nurses with training in Covid-19 testing are expected to visit underserviced areas across both provinces from May 18.

“As the Solidarity Fund we are particularly grateful of the spirit and care in which this cooperation with Transnet was formed to make it work for these two provinces,” said Gloria Serobe, the chairperson of the fund.

“We also salute our medical professionals for the work that they do in protecting all South Africans from the threat of the coronavirus.

“This partnership is unity in action, with the Solidarity Fund playing a coordinating role with multiple stakeholders and making real interventions to support government efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”

Transnet Group CEO Portia Derby said the Phelophepa trains were a “well-known partner” of rural communities in the provision of primary health services.

“It is a real privilege for us to now include Covid-19 testing at this critical time. We have been – and always will be – there for our people.”

In addition, the fund has approved 400,000 Covid-19 testing kits, costing R250m, for the NHLS to boost testing.

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane said this “critical testing intervention comes at a time when we need it most”.

“It will go a long way in mitigating development faultlines exposed by … Covid-19 and will help the provinces ramp up their massive screening and testing programmes, especially in the rural parts of these provinces,” he said.

“We welcome it as a catalyst in the difficult war we are waging against this invisible enemy that has destabilised the whole world.”

By Iavan Pijoos

SOURCE:TIMESLIVE

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