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Aurum takes COVID-19 vaccinations to the people

Aurum takes COVID-19 vaccinations to the people

The Aurum Institute has partnered with the Solidarity Fund to scale up vaccinations by establishing sites in easy to reach and convenient locations. Staff from Aurum and affiliates CHAPS and YHA have been deployed to vaccinate people in Tlhabane and Kroondal in Rustenburg, North West. By the first week of August, South Africa had 8 million COVID-19 vaccines administered, but officials acknowledged that there is still a long way to go. 

Dr Dino Rech, Group Strategy and Business Development Officer, said Aurum hopes to expand to other provinces in partnership with the Solidarity Fund. “As a health service provider, Aurum is pleased to be able to contribute to the health priority of getting people vaccinated. We are thrilled to use our skill sets to play our part in the national vaccination rollout,” he said.

Seize the opportunity

Augustina Mohlabi, 61, said she had struggled to register for the vaccination as she can only make calls on her phone. Fortunately while waiting to collect her pension at nearby grocery store Spar, she saw the staff recruiting people who would like to get vaccinated, and decided to seize the opportunity. She vaccinated with her friend Belina Posholi, 68, as they know that as older people, they are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Martha Motlale, 38, had registered on WhatsApp and was eagerly awaiting the SMS to advise her where and when to go for her jab. “COVID kills. It is scary. I had anxiously waited for my age-group to be eligible for vaccination and when it was, I registered and it was an easy process,” she said.  Motlale was at the shopping centre to withdraw money when she heard that Aurum was vaccinating.  “This was my chance. I have two children and I have to do all I can to protect myself, so I don’t leave them, and also protect them from getting COVID from me. I have been encouraging others my age to register for the vaccination and now that I know it is such a simple process, I will bring friends when I come for my second dose,” said Motlale.

Positive experience

Robert Nemakonde, 49, said he had initially come to the site just to enquire, having not made up his mind about whether to get the vaccination or not.  “It was a very positive experience. They talked me through the process and explained that getting vaccinated doesn’t mean I can’t get COVID but that if I do, I will not fall seriously ill or possibly die. I appreciated that honesty and learning that I am not only protecting myself but those around me as well. I did it for myself and my family and to help the country reach what they call herd immunity.  It means a lot to me that I can play a part to help stabilise the country,” he said.

Partnership

Louis Mathinya, Aurum’s Senior Programme Manager visited the sites with Department of Health (DoH) Rustenburg sub-district manager Rudzani Ramugondo.  “We were able to assemble the team quickly and place the vaccination sites in strategic areas to assist as many people as possible with vaccinations without them having to wait in long queues or travel very far,” said Mathinya. This, he said, is another example of the good partnership between Aurum and the Department of Health in the North West, working together to bring health services to the people of the province.

Rudzani Ramugondo echoed this, thanking Aurum for their efforts to drive the Department’s vaccination rollout in the province.

Rech said this latest vaccination drive is an addition to Aurum’s growing vaccine delivery track record following the successful implementation of the Sisonke implementation study. Sisonke, which was a collective effort by several research organisations, led by Aurum in the North West, had almost 500 000 healthcare workers vaccinated.