Discussions after the tour were centred on the number of confirmed cases in Mpumalanga and – more specifically, the Nkangala District – as well as the department’s preparedness in
dealing with the anticipated rise in infections.
The delegation was led by the Nkangala District Director of Primary Healthcare, Dr Cheryl Nelson, and included representatives from the province’s Department of Public Works, Roads
and Transport. This agency oversees the management of state-owned assets, including healthcare facilities.
“Essentially, the visit sought to generate a mutual understanding of what role our medical centre will play in aiding the public health sector as transmissions inevitably rise,” says Head of
Corporate Affairs Mpumi Sithole. It also served as a preliminary inspection to assess its suitability as a quarantine and isolation facility.
The next step will involve a more detailed inspection against the guidelines set by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the drafting of a memorandum of understanding.
Health Service Manager Dr Thulisile Ngwenya took the visitors on a tour of the 107-bed hospital, its COVID-19 laboratory and dedicated TB unit. The laboratory is equipped with a polymerise chain reaction (PCR) testing unit (with the capacity to process 600 samples a day), while the TB unit has been recommissioned specifically to cater for coronavirus patients requiring treatment in isolation.