OHSC suffers in the Midst of Vaccine Rollout
Written by Sinenhlanhla ngwenya on July 19, 2021
The Office of Health Standards has responded to the nationwide protests and lootings that have been mainly dominant in parts of Kwazulu Natal and Gauteng, claiming that the lootings have indeed affected healthcare services due to the lootings of medical centers, private practices and pharmacies. The vaccination rollout has also been disturbed due to the lootings.
“The task of the OHSC is to safeguard the safety of users of health services and healthcare workers and to ensure quality services in our healthcare facilities. When we see access to healthcare facilities blocked, medicines looted, blood services premises vandalized, and oxygen deliveries delayed, it is our duty as a regulator in the provision of health services to spell out clearly that such actions are life-threatening and potentially deadly,” said the OHSC.
The lootings followed the arrest of Former South African President Jacob Zuma at his home in Inkandla when we he handed himself over to the South African Police Services.Immediately protests under the #ReleaseZuma followed the arrest where national routes like the N3 between Gauteng and KZN were blocked by protestors. Shortly, the protests spread in land where mass lootings began.
It was not long before Johannesburg CBD was filled with violent protests and evidently looting of shops, shopping centers and even medical centers.
Much harm has been inflicted on the medial sector, especially whilst the country is currently recovering from a widespread of the new COVID-19 Delta Virus, which ultimately led the country being put into Alert Level 3 of national lockdown. It was at this time the urgent rollout of the vaccine came into effect.
However, the protesting have now increased pressure on the health sector and health workers. Affected areas healthcare facilities have seen an increase in patients in need of medical assistance due to the violent protests and lootings.
“The OHSC would like to appeal to communities to protect and respect the vital role of healthcare facilities and preserve precious infrastructure and prevent the unnecessary loss of life. Around the country, dedicated health professionals have been trying their utmost to improve the quality of care available to the public, including managing the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the OHSC.
The OHSC has also called on the public to work together in supporting the health sector and whilst it restores itself to affected areas.