A small South African seaside community has joined together to see how they can help the few medics, that’s just a handful of doctors and some clinic staff in the area, who are already physically and mentally overloaded by the pandemic.
Kenton-on-Sea, South Africa (06 August 2020) – As COVID-19 has gripped the world, communities globally have realised that the most effective way to combat this pandemic is preparedness. In a small seaside village in the Eastern Cape, there are a group of busy people who are not prepared to sit back and wait for the worst to happen but are marshalling every available resource to equip the community and surrounding areas to best combat COVID-19.
The entire community of Kenton-on-Sea joined together to see how they can help the few medics, that’s just a handful of doctors and some clinic staff in the area, who are already physically and mentally overloaded by the pandemic.
Starting with the premise that it’s better not to get the Coronavirus in the first place they’ve worked on a set of easy to understand educational videos catered especially to their diverse communities. With the help of local nurses and pharmacists, they tell how the virus is spread and how, by wearing masks, washing hands and practising social distancing, they can help protect themselves. There are helpful hints for home care, what isolation actually means, and a range of breathing exercises and sleeping positions illustrating what can be done to make life easier if you are unfortunate enough to get COVID-19. All the videos in Xhosa, Afrikaans and English can be distributed via WhatsApp to anyone with a cell phone.
In order to disseminate these useful tools, they’ve identified community leaders in each area and have formed a ‘Coastal Kindness Outreach WhatsApp Group’ to help spread the word!
It also became apparent that there was a lack of oxygen cylinders and concentrators in the area, so funds were found, equipment procured and delivered and they are now residing in local doctor’s rooms for needy patients, leaving everyone breathing more easily!
There’s a coordinated team of locals offering kindness to those who have to stay at home. From delivering meals and medicines to phoning daily for a chat; they offer a lifeline to anyone self-isolating or too elderly or vulnerable to venture out. A Coastal Kindness ‘Home Care Pack’ has been produced with lots of useful contact numbers and tips to help make life more comfortable.
And if someone’s feeling totally overwhelmed and anxious, there are emotional support Zoom meetings on offer, plus one-on-one phone counselling for anyone wanting a more private conversation.
In any small village, the local pharmacy forms the backbone of the community, but the one in Kenton is going above and beyond the call of duty to help alleviate the pressure on their only doctor. As their contribution to the Coastal Kindness team, they’re making use of their WhatsApp line to encourage patients to use them as their first port of call for non-threatening queries, saving the doctor’s precious time as well as helping patients to connect to their medical aids and offering minor ailment information remotely.
There are several other initiatives too, all of which are being documented with protocols written for each one, so other small towns and villages can take what Coastal Kindness has learnt and adapted it to their needs.
They aim to help as many members of the community as possible from Kenton, Ekuphumleni, Bushmans, Boknes & Cannon Rocks, Marselle & Klipfontein and Alexandria. They hope to work their way along the coast as they get more resources, support and funding.
You can find out about Coastal Kindness on www.coastalkindness.org.za we are all in this together!