The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in the Eastern Cape is in full support of the Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, and his commitment to engage national ministers and argue for the ban of alcohol under lockdown Alert Level 3 as this lifting would see the overwhelming of our healthcare system and undermine the country’s level of preparedness for COVID-19.
We hope he gets full support from other premiers in other provinces because of the effects of the lifting of the ban of alcohol on the healthcare system are just too extreme and could potentially overshadow the benefits to the country’s economy.
As soon as the ban was lifted on 1 June, for example, health workers experienced an influx of emergency cases at various trauma units in both the province and the country, ranging from stab wounds, fights to motor vehicle accidents.
At Dora Nginza Hospital in Port Elizabeth, for example, the Thuthuzela Care Centre, which deals with cases related to sexual violence and abuse, reported a steep increase of 90% in cases since the lifting of the ban on alcohol. The hospitals and clinics in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro also saw a general increase in trauma cases, some as a result of gender-based violence.
This is a clear sign that alcohol is keeping healthcare workers and the healthcare system extremely busy. Furthermore, this means the man-made emergencies in our facilities are now posing a serious competition to COVID-19 cases for resources such as beds and equipment like ventilators and ICU infrastructure. As Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is the epicentre of COVID-19 in the province, this spells disaster.
The reversal of the lifting of the ban on alcohol is likely to see a marked reduction of the emergencies that we have come to witness in our healthcare facilities, which will augur well for the country’s preparation for COVID-19.
If this is not done, critical COVID-19 patients may die because the ICU beds and ventilators which they need are occupied by alcohol-related cases.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in the Eastern Cape
For more information, contact:
Khaya Sodidi, Provincial Secretary
Cell: 072 573 3315