As part of Damen Shipyard’s (DSCT) social and community responsibility initiative, the yard has delivered 4,000 care packages to the nursing staff at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. These packages are a small gesture of thanks to the healthcare workers in local hospitals who have been on the frontlines in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
DSCT HR manager Eva Moloi said, “When we realised the effect of the pandemic on the country at large, we thought it necessary to assist where we can. DSCT feels strongly that a focused approach to assist the frontline healthcare workers, a structure we all depend on, would have the most impact. We are entirely reliant on the frontline healthcare workers to be available to everybody, but we understand that they are also human and need to look after themselves. We want to contribute to that.”
The care packages are not only a fantastic health booster but also a boost to morale. Eva continues, “This pandemic has made us appreciate the gift of life. These care packages are about helping healthcare workers remain strong and healthy while they assist in healing our country.”
Culture of caring
According to Aghmat Mohammed, Groote Schuur’s Head of Nursing, the hospital has seen the most COVID-19 cases in the Western Cape. “Our ICUs are still full, and we are currently very much a COVID hospital.” However, he has noted that the hospital has a strong culture of caring, especially in the face of this pandemic.
“At Groote Schuur Hospital, we quickly realised during the pandemic that ‘the more you care, the stronger you can be’. There is an exceptional culture of caring for our colleagues and our patients. We have been able to overcome every challenge that we experienced during the pandemic because we care so much about everyone around us.”
“During the entire pandemic, we found it difficult to rest or take leave without the reassurance from our colleagues that they were coping with the additional workload. A stronger team, therefore, emerged during the pandemic, which leads us to constantly worry about whether our colleagues were coping in various areas.”
“Through this generous donation, every member of this valuable team will be provided with a care package that will assist with renewing our strength for the journey ahead as we continue to fight the pandemic.”
Mercy Lazarus, Deputy Director of Human Resources at Groote Schuur Hospital, reiterates the commitment of the staff. “When the rest of the country went into lockdown, we went into overdrive. We had to work three or four times as hard. A lot of us haven’t taken leave as we had to work throughout this period, 24/7. It has been a tough time, so we really want to thank DSCT for acknowledging us. All the staff have committed to the process of fighting the pandemic. Thank you for joining us in this fight and for supporting us.”