The Stanford community has also pulled together to support exhausted health workers at the local Stanford Clinic, the Hermanus Provincial Hospital and Hermanus Mediclinic. Health workers are under tremendous pressure, having to navigate high numbers of infected patients while experiencing a critical shortage of hospital beds and a growing loss of staff as more doctors and nurses are testing positive for Covid-19 and falling ill.

Estelle Van Der Westhuizen (Patient Safety and IPC Manager) and Gerhard Joubert (Hospital General Manager) of Hermanus Mediclinic with the flowers that were donated by the community of Stanford.

On Tuesday 12 January, village volunteers delivered bunches of fresh flowers, baked goodies and messages of thanks to the clinic and both hospitals. “We want to ensure that these hardworking people know how much we appreciate their sacrifices. We stand behind them and are ready to assist them in any way we can,” said Tracey Anderson of Stanford Tourism, on behalf of the greater community.

The village has also launched an Adopt a Ward campaign, which entails supporting one ward at one hospital for the next two to four weeks. “We’ll be supporting the staff of the Mediclinic Emergency Room, as this was our first point of communication where we realised the level of utter desperation,” says Tracey. “Our aim is to provide the working staff on the ward with a nutritious meal per shift, and chicken soup for those staff members who’ve fallen sick and are in isolation on their own.

“We would like to do more, but the needs are too big for us as private individuals to be able to help everyone. We are hoping to spark interest and invite other communities, organisations and businesses to adopt more wards at both hospitals.”

Critical units under pressure are the Intensive Care Units, the Covid wards and theatres. Ambulance personnel are also working long shifts with little time to eat or sleep. They will appreciate any token of support, however small.

To adopt a ward, please contact Dr Stefanie Perold of Hermanus Hospital on 028 313 5200, or Wynne Pietersen of Hermanus Mediclinic on 028 313 0168. The coordinator of the Adopt a Ward campaign in Stanford is Lizelle Henegan, who can be contacted via email at lizellehenegan@hotmail.com.

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