There's no hive of activity at Gift of the Givers Logistics Centre in Bramley, no preparation of search and rescue teams, no preparation of medical teams flying in from across the country, no chartered flight laden with high quality medical, search and rescue equipment and essential supplies, not because of Lockdown, but because our paramedics and front line medical professionals are jointly needed with fellow health care workers to assist each other and our South African population that has the 5th highest rate of Covid-19 infection in the world.
That doesn't mean that we can't assist humankind in distress in other parts of the world. Gift of the Givers has partner networks globally to increase the speed of disaster intervention where calls are made for international assistance. Having assisted Lebanon in 2006 we have a "feel" of the environment. In recent years we work with Ghirass, a social development agency, that hosted us at a humanitarian conference in Istanbul last year. They also visited South Africa. Gift of the Givers intervention in Beirut will be facilitated by Ghirass who will facilitate the purchase and distribution of food, water, blankets, clothing and medical supplies with the initial R1 million being transferred today. Funding for rental accommodation to house 300 000 displaced people whose homes were destroyed by the explosion and to support families whose bread winners perished in the tragedy will be a generous compassionate gesture.
Contributions into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account number 052278611, Branch Code 057525, ref Lebanon. Please send deposit slip to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make a Difference
Gift of the Givers is a partner to the government's Covid-19 initiative, augmenting public health services by supporting medical professionals with protective wear, supplying relevant essential medical equipment and providing medical consumables to the institutions in urgent need. The National Health Minister is fully appraised of our intervention through the Deputy Director of emergency and disaster medicine in the department, Dr Ahmed Bham, who was appointed by the minister to lead the team to repatriate South Africans from Wuhan. Ahmed is head of Gift of the Givers Search and Rescue team. He is currently in charge of the Quarantine Centre at The Ranch. Various health departments, disaster management services nationwide and an MEC have requested partnership with Gift of the Givers to deal with the anticipated health challenges.
To further enhance efficiency and identify areas of need in real time, Gift of the Givers, has been partnered by Vula Mobile, which has 11000 registered medical professionals linked to it nationwide. Within 10 minutes of a positive case we can be informed of what intervention is required from anywhere in the country. In the meantime requests are already pouring in from professionals on this app to have items in advance as many of their facilities are poorly resourced.
Requests from all quarters are very similar: N-95 protective mask, 3-tier lower cost mask for selected patients, hand sanitisers, disinfectant, sterile gloves, disposable sterile gowns, goggles, visors, ventilators and related equipment (in selected cases). Chris Hani Baragwanath and Raheema Moosa Hospital have requested the setting up of a tent, with beds, protective wear and all equipment necessary for testing and quarantine when necessary. They want this facility OUTSIDE the existing hospital infrastructure, but on the premises to reduce risk to the other patients who may be immunocompromised.
Providing affordable testing is another essential aspect of the management process. Gift of the Givers has set up a facility in Johannesburg for the purpose, which has been extremely well received, costing the patient R750 compared to R1400 in some labs. The Dome in Randburg has offered us their undercover and parking facility at no cost to set up a testing site with immediate effect extending it to a quarantine centre when needed. We are in discussion with various role players to set up cost effective testing facilities in selected areas nationwide. Roshnee is our second site and will be functional on Monday.
Gift of the Givers is considering all the requests pouring in. We are taking delivery of 10000 N-95 masks and 720 bottles of quality disinfectant today. On Tuesday we are receiving 50000 3-tier masks. We have large quantities of sterile gloves in stock already. We have stood guarantee for the purchase of 1000 imported pcr test kits and will do so for every repeat 1000. We have a preferred tent supplier, and are busy engaging various suppliers to negotiate prices on all the medical equipment required.
We are in discussion with the NICD and Department of Health to consider an alternative testing kit which comes in at under R100, was approved by the American FDA yesterday, is being used in Europe, and is far more practical. This test will be invaluable if we implement it at taxi ranks nationwide, when the situation demands it, as 66% of the country's workers use this facility. We have engaged SANTACO for this purpose.
The immediate outlay for everything mentioned above to ensure preparedness and decisive action is R20 million. This, however, will rise substantially as the number of cases multiply.
Gift of the Givers is also actively involved in drilling boreholes at schools and hospitals, and delivering clean water for drinking and hygiene seven days a week. We have three water tankers for the purpose.
South Africa is in the throes of a crippling drought. In the period July 2017 to the current, Gift of the Givers has expanded R235 million in drought relief in Eastern, Northern and Western Cape, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. This includes the drilling of 330 actively functional boreholes, delivery of 625 truckloads of fodder, delivery and distribution of 250 truckloads of bottled water, deployment of 200 JoJo tanks, daily delivery of water through water tankers and the distribution of thousands of food parcels to farm workers and farmers, nutritionally enriched food to schools and pre-schools, provision of huge quantities of wool to set up highly successful income generating projects and the delivery of thousands of jars of cookies, also an income generating project, that has yielded R2.4 million in just four weeks, saving jobs, households, small shops and rural communities.
Cash contributions, fodder, provision of fuel, water tankers, trucks to deliver fodder, wool, or food items in kind are the need of the hour.