In Practice

Leadership and early strategic response to the SARS-CoV- 2 pandemic at a COVID-19 designated hospital in South Africa

A Parker, S Karamchand, N Schrueder, S Lahri, H Rabie, A Aucamp, R Abrahams, P Ciapparelli, D S Erasmus, M F Cotton, U Lalla, R Leisegang, J Meintjes, R Mistry, M R Moosa, A Mowlana, C F N Koegelenberg, H Prozesky, W Smith, M van Schalkwyk, J J Taljaard

Abstract


While many countries are preparing to face the COVID-19 pandemic, the reported cases in Africa remain low. With a high burden of both communicable and non-communicable disease and a resource-constrained public healthcare system, sub-Saharan Africa is preparing for the coming crisis as best it can. We describe our early response as a designated COVID-19 provincial hospital in Cape Town, South Africa (SA).While the first cases reported were related to international travel, at the time of writing there was evidence of early community spread. The SA
government announced a countrywide lockdown from midnight 26 March 2020 to midnight 30 April 2020 to stem the pandemic and save lives. However, many questions remain on how the COVID-19 threat will unfold in SA, given the significant informal sector overcrowding and poverty in our communities. There is no doubt that leadership and teamwork at all levels is critical in influencing outcomes.


Authors' affiliations

A Parker, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa; Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

S Karamchand, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

N Schrueder, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

S Lahri, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

H Rabie, Division of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

A Aucamp, Unit for Infection Prevention and Control, Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

R Abrahams, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

P Ciapparelli, Hospital Management, Tygerberg Hospital and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

D S Erasmus, Hospital Management, Tygerberg Hospital and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

M F Cotton, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa; Family Centre for Research with Ubuntu (FAMCRU), Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

U Lalla, Division of Critical Care, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

R Leisegang, Family Centre for Research with Ubuntu (FAMCRU), Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

J Meintjes, Unit for Infection Prevention and Control, Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

R Mistry, Hospital Management, Tygerberg Hospital and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; Division of Critical Care, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

M R Moosa, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

A Mowlana, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

C F N Koegelenberg, Division of Pulmonology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

H Prozesky, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

W Smith, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town; Disaster Medicine Unit, Emergency Medical Services, Cape Town, South Africa

M van Schalkwyk, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

J J Taljaard, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

COVID-19; Pandemic; Multidisciplinary teamwork; Health systems

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2020;110(6):. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2020v110i6.14809

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-04-23
Date published: 2020-04-23

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