Damen reaches out to Groote Schuur healthcare workers


Damen Shipyard Cape Town’s (DSCT’s) social and community responsibility initiative delivered 4 000 care packages to nursing staff at Cape Town’s Groote Schuur Hospital.

The packages are a small gesture of thanks to healthcare workers in local hospitals on the frontlines in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, according to DSCT human resources manager Eva Moloi.

“When we realised the effect of the pandemic on the country, we thought it necessary to assist where we can.  DSCT feels a focused approach to assist frontline healthcare workers, a structure we all depend on, would have the most impact. We are entirely reliant on frontline healthcare workers to be available to everybody, but understand they are also human and need to care for themselves. We want to contribute to that,” she said.

The care packages are not only a health booster but also boost morale. “This pandemic has made us appreciate the gift of life. The care packages are about helping healthcare workers remain strong and healthy while they assist in healing our country,” Moloi said.

Aghmat Mohammed, Groote Schuur Head of Nursing, said the hospital has seen the most COVID-19 cases in the Western Cape. “Our ICUs are still full and we are currently very much a COVID hospital.”

“At Groote Schuur, we quickly realised in the pandemic that ‘the more you care, the stronger you can be’. There is an exceptional culture of caring for colleagues and patients. We have overcome every challenge experienced during the pandemic because we care about everyone around us.

“It’s difficult to rest or take leave without reassurance from colleagues that they could cope with the additional workload. A stronger team emerged during the pandemic.

“This generous donation provides every member of this valuable team will with a care package to assist in renewing strength for the journey ahead as we continue to fight the pandemic.”

Mercy Lazarus, Deputy Director of Human Resources at the hospital, is just as appreciative of staff commitment. “When the rest of the country went into lockdown, we went into overdrive. We had to work three or four times as hard. A lot of us haven’t taken leave as we had to work throughout, 24/7. It has been a tough time and thank DSCT for acknowledging us. All the staff are committed to fighting the pandemic.”