Screening and testing
Since early May 2020, the South African Department of Health has leveraged the Phelophepa primary healthcare trains, sponsored by Roche and run by Transnet, the country’s main freight and logistics company, to help curb the spread of the virus in the country.
“The whole landscape has changed. We have severely downscaled all of our normal healthcare procedures and we are mainly focusing on massive screening and testing in the service of communities that could not otherwise reach healthcare facilities,” said Dr. Mathapelo Mashaphu, Train Manager on Phelophepa Healthcare Train II.
As of July 2020, the two Phephepa healthcare trains combined have screened 184,810 people for COVID-19. The number of symptomatic patients who were then tested for COVID-19 was 13,438 people.
Keeping the healthcare workers safe is a top priority and why the Friends of Phelophepa donation was so important to keep the trains running. “PPE is very important since there is COVID-19. This disease revolves around personal hygiene first. So it is important to protect me and to protect our patients. We have to maintain the trains as COVID-free,” said Phiwokuhle Mhlongo, a Nurse Practitioner who works on Phelophepa II.