Your Africanacity feeds, tests and protects – #COVID19

What we're about  | Written by Casey Monteiro

29 May 2020

As Africans, we are rooted in the concept of Ubuntu (I am, because we are): “Motho ke motho ka batho”.

This unity of purpose inspired a country of doers to stay home and to flatten the curve at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we must continue to find a way to get things done, with the ultimate goal of protecting lives and livelihoods. We call this Africanacity.

With your help, we will deliver two million meals, ensure that more testing takes place and protect frontline medical staff with the necessary medical equipment. We have contributed R23.9 million towards COVID-19 relief efforts in South Africa thus far, focused on supporting the vulnerable in our communities, expanding testing and tracing, and supplying protective medical equipment, and our staff have contributed an additional R7.1 million by donating their leave. All funds donated will be used to support these three critical interventions, working with trusted, reputable local partners to ensure that we reach those who need it the most.

Two million meals and 30 000 masks

High poverty levels in our society increase the strain on the most vulnerable in our communities – the poor, the elderly, the children and the disabled. Food security, as well as addressing challenges of hygiene and sanitation, are critical interventions. We have already donated food equating to more than 597 000 meals and have been distributing hygiene and sanitation products to communities in need across South Africa, working with reputable disaster relief and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on the ground, such as Gift of the Givers, Afrika Tikkun, World Vision, Do More Foundation, Rise Against Hunger and others. We have also committed to produce and distribute 30 000 cloth masks to vulnerable communities, in collaboration with Yes4Youth. Your support will help us reach two million meals and deliver hygiene and sanitation products.  

Testing and tracing 

The ongoing public health response to COVID-19, in line with global best practice, is focused on education and awareness, prevention and treatment. A key concern is the ability of the public health system to effectively manage a rise in infections while maintaining primary care services. It is therefore imperative to support and augment the Department of Health’s capacity regarding testing, screening and tracing to help curb the spread of the virus.

In South Africa, the Solidarity Response Fund was established by government to help enable a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to date has raised more than R2.5 billion towards these efforts, focused on prevention, detection, treatment and the support of vulnerable groups. The reality, however, is that in a country of more than 58.5 million people, with high poverty and inequality rates, the need far surpasses the availability of resources, and requires a collective response. We are supporting testing and tracing in hotspots and critical areas as identified by government, working with organisations such as the Pink Drive; supporting three mobile testing units to enable ongoing testing – in partnership with the National Health Laboratory Services; and supporting additional tracing capacity through the training and deployment of additional community-based tracing personnel. With your help, we will be able to scale this.

Masks and shields for frontline medical staff

The Department of Health has put a comprehensive plan in place to prepare the public health facilities to manage the imminent infection peak, which includes the procurement of key medical equipment, the establishment of field hospitals and triage/fever tents and the training of medical personnel.

Your support will ensure that more medical staff have adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and that triage/fever tents are erected in high-risk areas. To date, 385 000 items of PPE (including surgical masks and face shields) have been procured to support public healthcare workers. This was achieved in collaboration with reputable NGOs such as Gift of the Givers and clients, such as Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, that are leveraging their production capabilities to manufacture face shields. With your help, this will increase to 400 000 items of PPE and will enable the support of triage tents.

*Bring your Africanacity to the Absa COVID-19 Social Relief Programme by donating:

Bank : Absa

Account name : Absa National Relief

Account number : 409 869 7540

Account type : Cheque account

Branch code : 63 20 05

Reference : COVID-19

*Note that the Absa COVID-19 Social Relief Programme is not registered as a separate public benefit organisation – donations to the programme therefore are not eligible for tax benefits. The programme is serving as a mechanism to collate funds, which will then be used to implement initiatives focused on the expansion of testing and tracing in critical areas, the supply of medical equipment and supporting vulnerable groups with basic humanitarian assistance. 

Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.