Afrocentric steps up to help in Covid-19 battle

PUBLISHED: Mon, 18 Jan 2021 16:23:36 GMT
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Key Points
  • AfroCentric wants to help the South African government protect frontline health workers as infections surge.
  • President Ramaphosa has secured 20 million vaccine doses expected to be received in first quarter of 2021
Health visitor and a senior woman during home visit – using digital tablet

South Africa’s AfroCentric says it is ready to help the government vaccinate frontline health workers in the fight against COVID-19.

The diversified health solutions business provider is offering its 3,000 nurses to travel around country to vaccinate about 150,000 workers per day as part of its contribution to sight the pandemic which has killed more than 37 105 South Africans since last year.

 “Afrocentric is working closely with Government to procure COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority SAHPRA and has the infrastructure to rapidly distribute the vaccines, maintaining the cold chain to all corners of South Africa,’’ AfroCentric’s CEO Ahmed Banderker said in a statement. “We have already dispensed more than 10 million prescriptions in 2020.’’

This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced that South Africa has secured 20 million vaccine doses to combat the coronavirus, which are to be delivered mainly in the first half of the year. Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says the country is expected to receive one million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) in January, and 500,000 doses in February.

Afrocentric says this will help meet the National Department of Health’s phased approach for delivery, in partnership with the private sector for 1.25 million frontline healthcare workers prioritised for Phase 1 and 16 million essential workers and high-risk people, prioritised for Phase 2.

AfroCentric’s membership base of over 3.8 million lives includes members of medical schemes Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS), Polmed, Bonitas, MediPos and other medical schemes that support South Africa’s frontline workers. Bandeker says these include doctors, nurses, policemen and women.

 “These nurses will provide services on an appointment basis at AfroCentric and Medscheme branches, occupational health and primary health clinics nationwide, onsite at the members’ place of work and will follow-up with members afterwards to monitor their response to the vaccine” he added.

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The extensive network of international suppliers Afrocentric has will source WHO-prescribed PPE for healthcare workers to enable them to administer vaccines safely without risk to themselves or our members.