The impact of misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine is being felt in hospital wards. This has put healthcare workers in a frustrating position. Doctors and nurses are having to treat people who refuse to take a potentially life-saving vaccine.
Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital's Head of ICU Professor Rudo Mathivha says that regardless of their personal feelings, healthcare workers take an oath that requires them to treat all patients.
Mathivah said that she has is yet to meet health care workers who are indifferent when it comes to showing compassion to patients. She does however note that there are less than 20 000 nurses who are responsible for treating more than 56 million South Africans.
Mathivah admits that during high waves of infections, that the busyness of health care workers could be seen as a lack of compassion. “When it's busy communication drops to almost nil and all that happens is to try and deliver therapy and I guess to the receiving patient that might be read as lack of compassion” added the Professor.
She does however acknowledge that there could be a lack of compassion among health care workers on an individual level. “Don't misunderstand me to be saying there isn't a lack of compassion, there are a very small percentage of individuals in whom lack of compassion is inherent and those you can identify very quickly and move them from the front line”
On Saturday, a group of anti-vaccination protesters or anti-vaxers, protested outside the Groote Schuur hospital in Observatory Cape Town. This resulted in a clash between a doctor who works at the hospital and protestors.
As of 24 August 2021, South Africa has recorded more than 2,7 million cases of Covid-19 and reported 79 953 deaths related to the virus. The FDA has recently announced their full approval of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and more than 10.8 Million people have been vaccinated in South Africa. All South Africans above the age of 18 can register to receive either two doses of the Pfizer Vaccine or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.