During the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, oxygen was a lifesaving consumable, but in many remote rural areas of the Eastern Cape, logistical challenges such as poor roads and long distances made distribution difficult. A group of doctors and engineers, however, developed a sustainable lifeline in the form of an oxygen generator at Madwaleni Hospital. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
A trained engineer and medical doctor, Dr Craig Parker created an oxygen device that was an important lifeline to patients in rural Eastern Cape at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month at the Rural Health Conference in Oudtshoorn, Parker received the Rural Doctor of the Year Award for 2022. Bienne Huisman chatted to Parker about the device and his life as a rural doctor.
By 16 June, the National Department of Health’s statistics showed the Free State has recorded 108 515 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 4 612 deaths with 94 761 recoveries. Now, with the province caught in a third wave, healthcare workers say they still stuck with old problems from the previous two waves.
As a third wave of COVID-19 looms in the Western Cape, a group of doctors at Groote Schuur Hospital’s Post-COVID-19 Lung Disease Clinic are treating patients who have recovered from COVID-19 but who suffer lingering symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath. Bienne Huisman paid them a visit.
Even in ‘normal’ times a reliable supply of medical oxygen is an essential part of healthcare services, but during COVID-19 surges the need for this life-sustaining gas has spiked to unprecedented levels. Tiyese Jeranji explores the fascinating science and engineering that facilitates this substance’s long journey from a production plant to a person’s lungs.