Tygerberg Hospital gets life-saving donation.

Dedicated Covid-19 ICU, SAME CEO Trevor Pols, Head of ICU Dr Usha Lalla, clinical engineer Marietjie Rossouw, head of clinical engineering Jacques Du Preez and ICU operational manager Doreen Van Schalkwyk. Picture: KAREN WATKINS

The SA Medical and Education (SAME) Foundation donated 12 life-saving monitors to Tygerberg Hospital yesterday, Wednesday April 8.

SAME Foundation CEO Trevor Pols said it took three days from the initial call for funds to delivery of the medical equipment, to support nurses and doctors dedicated to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Pols said the equipment, worth over R6 million, is used for monitoring patients and provides comprehensive information that medical staff need.

Mr Pols said monitors will also be delivered to Khayelitsha Hospital, Tembisa Hospital and Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg.

“We have been asked to urgently assist the Department of Health with lifesaving medical equipment to reduce the impending impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Across the world appropriate beds and medical equipment have been in dire shortage and South Africa is no different. The outbreak will get much worse in the coming weeks and – to the detriment of millions of South Africans – our already overburdened healthcare system will not be able to cope. We are working with hospitals around the country that need emergency assistance with equipping their isolation wards and treatment wards for Covid-19,” said Mr Pols.

He said the most important equipment are beds, ventilators and monitors. Tygerberg Hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) currently has about seven beds. It is undergoing an expansion with the aim of installing 44 beds. Almost all beds have ventilators but there were not enough monitors. That’s when SAME stepped in to help. Mr Pols said they will also be providing personal protective equipment (PPE) of masks, gloves, shields and sanitiser.

Letiticia Pienaar, spokesperson for Tygerberg Hospital, said PPE is critical to keeping their staff safe so they can look after the Covid-19 patients.

“The Western Cape Government Health Department welcomes and appreciates this generous donation of SAME in fighting the Covid-19 epidemic. Together we can make a difference in the lives of people affected by this epidemic,” said Ms Pienaar.

Mr Pols said they need funding for the remaining ICU beds. “The faster we get the funding in, the faster we can deliver this life-saving equipment to the hospitals,” said Mr Pols.

SAME Foundation is a public benefit organisation, fully-funded by the private sector.

Call 086 122 2379, or email capetown@samefoundation.org.za to contact them.