Corona: Train CHWs to Combat an Outbreak


It has been noted previously the leading killer in terms of health in Africa are communicable diseases. The novel corona virus has already killed in the thousands and infected at least 90,000 others across the globe. Although
Africa only confirmed 3 cases, mainly from non-African travelers, there are growing concerns about the state of readiness of the both the continent and South Africa, whether local health systems are equipped to handle the
pandemic.

There are reported plans to use Thaba Nchu as a quarantine site for locals who will be evacuated from China. As part of the Health Department’s plan to combat an outbreak, CHWs could play a crucial role as providers of primary health care, reaching the most remote areas where communicable diseases thrive. The DHO should already be providing training to CHWs to improve both the detection and tracking capabilities.

An advantage to using CHWs as part of the strategy is that they are already effective health-practitioners, grounded and recognised in many poor community and they already function as nurses in the home. As invaluable members of health services, CHWs only need to be fashioned with protective clothing, adequate training on the virus.

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