South African medical doctor provides free treatment to Covid-19 patients
London, Feb. 1, 2021 (AltAfrica)-A South African doctor is selflessly serving the community by providing free medical care to Covid-19 positive patients.
Doctor Diveshni Govender has set up a makeshift clinic at the Havenside Community Hall in Chatsworth.
Following the overwhelming need for hospital care for patients and Chatsworth being a hotspot, Govender came up with the idea of offering some sort of day facility offering interim care.
“On a daily basis I was receiving phone calls for a hospital bed or a drip or oxygen. A number of people in the community cannot afford medical treatment and could not get a bed at a hospital. I consulted a colleague who supplies me with personal protective equipment to assist in sourcing items.
“It isn’t ideal medicine but we are now practising pandemic medicine. I approached members of the community centre who allowed me to use the hall,” said Govender.
Seventy-two hours after a call was made for a range of medical items from alcohol swabs, IV infusion sets, Covid vitamin packs, to non-medical items such as sanitisers, mops, brooms, the facility was set up with 15 beds.
Govender, with two nurses, an admin clerk and a cleaner are running the clinic from Monday to Friday.
“It is run purely on donations. A business sponsors meals so patients can go home with lunch after treatment in the morning,” she said
To access the facility a person needs to have a positive Covid-19 test result, have difficulty breathing, have an oxygen saturation of 85% to 92% and have difficulty tolerating oral fluids.
“Patients receive IV treatment, oxygen therapy, take away home treatment which is Covid vitamins and antibiotics or steriods if they need it, crystals if they need to steam.
“I am seeing anyone whether they have medical aid or not. Those that are not well enough I ask them to come back for a second dose of treatment or refer them for hospital care. Those that are not quite at a hospital stage and are also not comfortable being at home I send them home with an oxygen concentrator at my discretion, trusting they would bring it back so I can treat other people,” said Govender, who has a general practice in Havenside.
She said people are receiving proper treatment like they would at a private healthcare facility.
Govender said they can see up to 30 patients a day, but on a average day they see about 15 to 20.
“As word spreads we are starting to see more people. The burden of disease is there. People are scared to go to hospital,” said Govender.
She said it was just about the community coming together and serving the community, and not about any monetary gain.