On the day of June 22, the Daily Mavericks, a South African newspaper, published an alarming article on the tragic situation experienced in the populous province of Gauteng, seat of Johannesburg (only the city of about 10 million inhabitants) and Pretoria (one and a half million), due to the increase in the number of COVID cases.
Many of us have lost the will to read these topics again, having experienced them firsthand or very directly, in previous seasons, but this is the third time it has happened in South Africa (and with it other African countries, in proportion, Kenya and Uganda, for example).
The search for a source of oxygen, be they cylinders or concentrators, has become spasmodic and often with faint hope for many patients, especially those less wealthy.
And South Africa is not as unguarded as the rest of the African countries!
Therefore, the reminder of what is happening is a duty.
To reiterate once again that, if we Westerners are MAYBE getting out of it, we will never be able to catch our breath until we all get out of it. That is to say that we must give a big shake up to all people, at all levels, who are able to decide to grant the postponement of vaccine patents, to donate quantities of vaccines and not just leftovers or warehouse waste, as Westerners and rich in general they have so far done.
Here are some passages of the article mentioned at the beginning and we also give the URL address to read the complete article.
(...) Gauteng is in great difficulty.
This is evident from the desperation calls of medical professionals, families and patients.
The overwhelming demand is for oxygen concentrators, oxygen and oxygen cylinders, or hospital bed availability.
Both private and public hospitals are full.
Patients travel from hospital to hospital to try to find an emergency room that is not busy. Once there, patients wait for hours before being able to access a bed. The lucky ones are admitted, but the others are sent home.
What's the problem?
Simply put, it is the staffing shortages that have not been addressed during both waves.
Also, there are water problems in some hospitals.
Due to this situation in hospitals, general practitioners, doctors and all health care professionals are stepping up home care, providing a service in the best possible way. There are limitations in that higher oxygen flows are needed as patients progressively deteriorate.
If the oxygen is supplied in a timely manner through all of these additional structures (the reopening of two hospitals closed for contingent reasons - NDT), steroids are used judiciously and are applied to the normal management protocols Covid-19; in this way lung damage can be reduced and so can the need for intensive care.
Nursing staff are needed. At Livingstone Hospital, Gift of the Givers (a local nonprofit) has funded eight nurses and 19 paramedics since last year.
Last year Gift of the Givers delivered 2,500 CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines to various hospitals in six provinces in 10 days. These machines use oxygen at a rate of between 10 and 30 liters per minute and the results are excellent.
This is a life-saving surgery.
Gift of the Givers will offer free to any public or private hospital that agrees to increase the Covid-19 bed space, as well as lend two ambulances to the province. They will receive a car for each bed created.
Doctors reported that the oxygen concentrators were exhausted and a batch was sent to Johannesburg, with others to follow.
Many other organizations are also working very hard to provide these concentrators. They give the patient a chance to catch up or buy time while waiting for a hospital bed.
To cope with water cuts in hospitals, the well at Rahima Moosa Hospital is now working with a capacity of delivering 18,000 liters per day, while at Helen Joseph Hospital, the Gift of the Givers teams have had the opportunity to deliver 1,500 liters per day from 240 meters deep.
They are currently drilling at a second site. DM