By Annisa Essack
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the cracks in our hospitals and other medical infrastructure. With the third wave, a surge of infections wreaking havoc in Gauteng, the need for more beds and oxygen supplies became an urgent need.
The Muslim Association of South Africa (MASA) has converted a clinic in Norwood, Johannesburg, into a COVID-19 facility to assist in fighting the disease in the area.
In an interview on Radio Islam International, Yaseen Theba, MASA chairperson, explained that people were left searching for assistance during the second wave. Hospitals could not manage patients requiring urgent oxygen therapy and the shortage of beds and resources as more patients needed to be hospitalised.
He said that the MASA MedPark was set up as a pressure-relief valve for local hospitals. With the help of community members volunteering at the project, a functional, safe and code-compliant medical facility was created within five days.
Apart from beds having piped oxygen supply, there is portable medical equipment to tend to patients. Ambulances will be kept ready to shift patients whose health conditions deteriorate despite being given oxygen to regular hospitals.
The facility has volunteers from various specialities to ensure that acute and primary care patients are given the best treatment. For those requiring critical or high care treatment, the team then assists the families in providing that the patients are shifted to a hospital.
The facility has received the support of the Jamiatul Ulema SA, with Mawlana Ebrahim Bham visiting the facility. He has offered support and blessing to the project.
The converted section of the clinic started accepting patients on Friday.
[Listen] to the interview.