The frontline workers play a big role in flattening the curve of the spread of coronavirus. The Ward Based Outreach Teams (WBOT) has been screening people since the pandemic started, although not everyone was able to test as clinics that are testing were not enough to accommodate everyone.The mass screening and testing campaign started in April this year and took place in working class communities as health officials realised that testing was not reaching these areas.
Community Healthcare Workers (CHWs) from different clinics were instructed to do screening in chosen areas during this campaign. They were picked up by buses from their different clinics (south region of Johannesburg) in the morning and returned in the afternoon. The campaign involved WBOT Co-ordinator, team leaders, Community Development Workers, CHWs and other health workers. CHWs did door-to-door screening of individuals in the households and referred those with symptoms, who were 60 years and older and also patients on chronic medication for testing. The campaign was based in Eden Park and Greenfields (suburbs in the south of Johannesburg).
CHWs advised the members of both communities on precautions to follow to avoid being infected and infecting others. People gladly took pamphlets produced by Gauteng Department of Health, given by CHWs and seemed very eager learn more. “There really is hope that we can beat this because even small children wear masks now. Parents were even singing about what the symptoms are along with their children like it was a national anthem,” says a CHW from Eden Park. Eden Park residents were happy about the campaign saying this makes them feel important and recognised.
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