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South African healthcare workers and COVID-19 : a shared responsibility to protect a precious and limited resource

dc.contributor.authorDramowski, Angelaen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorZunza, Moleenen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorDube, Kopanoen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorParker, Mohammeden_ZA
dc.contributor.authorSlogrove, Amy L.en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2020-06-09T12:46:22Z
dc.date.available2020-06-09T12:46:22Z
dc.date.issued2020
dc.identifier.citationDramowski, A. et al. 2020. South African healthcare workers and COVID-19 : a shared responsibility to protect a precious and limited resource. South African Medical Journal, doi:10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i7.14903.
dc.identifier.issn2078-5135 (online)
dc.identifier.issn0256-9574 (print)
dc.identifier.otherdoi:10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i7.14903
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108648
dc.descriptionCITATION: Dramowski, A. et al. 2020. South African healthcare workers and COVID-19 : a shared responsibility to protect a precious and limited resource. South African Medical Journal, doi:10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i7.14903.
dc.descriptionThe original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
dc.description.abstractHealthcare workers (HCWs) in African countries face high risks of occupational exposure to many pathogens, including tuberculosis, measles, HIV and Ebola.[1,2] The novel coronavirus SARSCoV- 2 poses an arguably greater threat to African HCWs than any other infectious agent to date. Data from countries with established epidemics show that HCWs experience high rates of COVID-19 infection, morbidity and mortality. In the USA, 19% of COVID-19 cases whose occupational status was known were HCWs (9 282/49 000),[3] and >90 000 HCW COVID-19 infections were documented in 30 countries, with 260 deaths in nurses, by early May 2020.[4] In South Africa (SA), on 6 May, Minister Zweli Mkhize reported that 511 HCWs had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (7% of the national total), with nurses accounting for 53% of total HCW cases.[5] The unprecedented risk posed to HCWs by COVID-19 is clearly acknowledged by all levels of the SA government. Nationally there have been commitments, both financially and administratively, to ensure procurement and local production of personal protective equipment (PPE) and transparent reporting of HCW COVID-19 infections. To varying degrees, administrative and engineering interventions to prevent COVID-19 infections and outbreaks have been implemented in SA healthcare facilities (Table 1). Despite the early phase of the pandemic and general availability of PPE, SA is already facing high rates of HCW COVID-19 infections and exposure events. This is a concerning development reflecting both widespread community transmission (with HCW infections) and the need to strengthen ‘universal’ prevention measures in healthcare facilities, e.g. physical distancing, mask-wearing, hand hygiene, and increased cleaning/ disinfection of surfaces and equipment.en_ZA
dc.description.urihttp://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/issue/view/267
dc.format.extent2 pages
dc.language.isoenen_ZA
dc.publisherHealth & Medical Publishing Group
dc.subjectCOVID-19 (Disease) -- Transmissionen_ZA
dc.subjectCommunity health aides -- Health risk assessmenten_ZA
dc.subjectPublic health personnel -- South Africa -- Protectionen_ZA
dc.subjectMedical personnel -- South Africa -- Protectionen_ZA
dc.subjectProtective clothingen_ZA
dc.subjectPersonal protective equipmenten_ZA
dc.titleSouth African healthcare workers and COVID-19 : a shared responsibility to protect a precious and limited resourceen_ZA
dc.typeArticleen_ZA
dc.description.versionPublisher's version
dc.rights.holderAuthors retain copyright


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