Doctors without borders complete field hospital in Khayelitsha

CAPE TOWN – Doctors Without Borders in collaboration with the Department of Health, has put together a temporary Covid-19 treatment facility in  Khayelitsha.

A community sports centre has been repurposed and constructed into a new 60-bed Covid-19 treatment facility and serves as an extension to the Khayelitsha District Hospital expanding the capacity and treatment of Covid-19 patients.

In a statement, project leader Dr. Eric Goemaere, said, “It is a reality that if the epidemic peaks as predicted, a certain number of people will fall ill and need treatment. Increasing healthcare capacity in an attempt to meet that increased demand is the best way to be prepared to try to save lives. Acknowledging that sadly some will be lost and we can’t save everyone, we still see this field hospital as a real plus for people in need in Khayelitsha.”

The temporary field hospital officially opened on Monday and will be running for the next three months, managed by Doctors Without Borders medical staff which includes six doctors and eight nurses. The facility provides essential medication, managing of co-morbidities and oxygen supply to patients with breathing difficulties.

“We are doing this firstly to help the Department of Health to cope with a major humanitarian emergency due to the pandemic but also to bring treatment closer to home for those affected in the community of Khayelitsha. Support from the community is essential for this to succeed,” said Nompumelelo Zokufa, a Health Promotion Manager with MSF in Khayelitsha.

Although Khayelitsha Field Hospital was built initially to aid the Khayelitsha community, patients from other outlying areas will be accepted if capacity allows.

 

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