What started as a small community-driven initiative to show appreciation to the nursing staff at Netcare Mulbarton Hospital in the south of Johannesburg, unexpectedly took off when residents and businesses from various communities rallied behind the project.
Clinical psychologist, Talita da Costa and psychiatrist, Dr Manesh Mohanlal of the Mental Wellness Centre at Netcare Mulbarton Hospital, who led the recent initiative, says: “Frontline healthcare workers, such as our colleagues at Netcare Mulbarton Hospital, have not shied away from the challenges COVID-19 presents and have given their all during this difficult time.
“When Dr Mohanlal and I decided to embark on this special community project to give back to the healthcare workers who have been fighting a daily battle to keep our communities safe, we had no idea just how much support from the public we would receive,” says Talita Da Costa.
Da Costa and Dr Mohanlal initially aimed to attract donations for food platters as a treat for frontline staff but were totally unprepared for the enthusiastic response they received from the community and businesses.
“Residents within various communities, some of whom have had loved ones with COVID-19 admitted to hospital, as well as persons who had lost family members to the disease, came out in full force to support the project. We are also grateful for the support of businesses, including Roman’s Pizza, Osteria Rossa, Owl Day Care, Tiddly Winks Play School, Cremalat Cheese and Bem Bom,” adds Da Costa.
While Da Costa and Dr Mohanlal initially sought to provide treats for around 140 nurses but the response from the community was so overwhelmingly positive that they secured enough platters to serve tasty snacks each and every person working at Netcare Mulbarton Hospital.
“To see the effort that the community put into thanking the hospital staff served as a reminder to them that their hard work, dedication and commitment do not go unnoticed. We would like to thank all of the individuals and companies who so willingly contributed, the gesture was most appreciated and boosted the morale of the staff at the hospital,” concludes Nellie Koen, general manager for Netcare Mulbarton Hospital.