Son of Covid-19 survivor, 73, lauds Eastern Cape health workers

Over the weekend a Facebook user from East London in the Eastern Cape shared details of his mother’s recovery from Covid-19 after she was hospitalised for two weeks.
Picture: 123RF/ JARUN ONTAKRAI

A social media post detailing the recovery of a 73-year-old woman who tested positive for Covid-19 in the Eastern Cape has gone viral after her recovery was attributed to “pockets of excellence” within the health-care system.

Facebook user Sbu Ngalwa from East London shared details at the weekend of his mother’s recovery after she was hospitalised.

In the post, Ngalwa said his mother was discharged from hospital on Thursday after a two-week stay. During one of those weeks she was attached to an oxygen machine.

Ngalwa complimented health-care workers at Stutterheim Hospital.

“My 73-year-old mother is a fighter. She came home yesterday (Thursday) after two weeks in hospital, [where she spent] week one attached to an oxygen machine,” said Ngalwa.

“We thank the Lord for returning her to us, especially when friends have lost loved ones during this difficult period. There is a lot wrong with our Eastern Cape, but there are pockets of excellence within the public service.”

Ngalwa said he was impressed by how health-care workers at Stutterheim Hospital treated their patients, including his mother, and how they worked tirelessly with little or no recognition.

“The story of how small, public rural hospitals, under the guidance of dedicated CEOs, are making a difference in the fight against Covid-19 has yet to be recorded. When the story of the Eastern Cape Covid-19 response is written in its completeness, it will have to include the account of the young Dr Mzekelo Godongwana, who not only runs the Stutterheim Hospital, but is also on the floor every day attending to patients.

“Stutterheim, St Barnabas and Zithulele are three rural hospitals with high recovery rates in the province. It has been reported that 96 of the 102 Covid-19 patients who were admitted to St Barnabas since the outbreak  have fully recovered.

“My mother has previously used both private and public hospitals, but is in awe of the service she received at Stutterheim and from Dr Godongwana. I take my hat off to the doctor and the dedicated group of health-care workers who work tirelessly.”

On Friday, provincial health MEC Sindiswa Gomba announced that more beds were being made available for Covid-19 patients in Eastern Cape hospitals, including St Barnabas Hospital.

Daily Dispatch reported that Gomba said St Barnabas had become a “beacon of hope” in the fight against Covid-19 with its 80% recovery rate.

To date, the Eastern Cape has 79,410 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 1,769 deaths. The province has recorded 68,652 recoveries.

The Eastern Cape has come under the spotlight after health-care workers spoke out about staff shortages, working conditions and the lack of personal protective equipment in hospitals.

By Unathi Nkanjeni – TimesLIVE

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