Dear B4SA and healthcare colleagues
Tonight, at midnight, is the anniversary of when South Africa went into its first lockdown. There is a lot to look back on, but more to look forward to. The extraordinary collaboration of thousands of scientists and researchers across the globe that saw vaccines being developed in such a short space of time is one of the great stories to emerge from the pandemic.
There are, of course, stories of tragedy and failure. Stories of personal loss and community suffering. But of the lessons learned—collaboration being one—the other is discovering the true nature of grit, not just individual but collective grit. In a TED Education talk about researching success, the significant determiner of who would succeed were those who had grit. They were people who focused on the long-term and who don’t consider failure as a permanent condition.
B4SA has always maintained that we are here in a collaboration with all stakeholders in the long-term efforts to halt the coronavirus and eventually rollback its disastrous consequences. Despite the tremendous progress made, we acknowledge that part of this process is trial and error, but we believe by collaborating and persevering, we will all find a way through this.
We note with regret the resignation of Prof Salim Abdool Karim from his position as Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19. We join with the Minister of Health in praising Professor Abdool Karim for his “exceptional stewardship during one of the greatest crises” we have faced. We also welcome and support the acting Chair, Professor Marian Jacobs, who has been exemplary in her role as co-Chair and Professor Koleka Misana as the new co-Chair.
Martin Kingston, Chairman, B4SA Steering Committee
B4SA – Sisonke healthcare workers webinar
B4SA hosted its first healthcare worker (HCW) webinar, in partnership with Sisonke on 25 March 2021. B4SA’s Stavros Nicolaou, Morgan Chetty, Melanie da Costa, Simon Strachan and Sham Moodley spoke about B4SA’s role in the vaccine rollout, and Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, co-lead investigator on Sisonke, provided an update on the status of the programme itself. Please find a link below to the webinar recording, for your interest.
B4SA WORKSTREAM UPDATES
To ensure readiness for the Phase 2 rollout, and the increased amount of throughput that will be required, B4SA is currently reorganising its workstream structures. The new structure will be focused on the different service delivery sites to administer large amount of vaccines efficiently, easily accessible for all, and aligned to the governments service delivery structures. This structure and a first workstream update will be shared next week.
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OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS AND GUIDELINES ON COVID-19
All official government regulations and guidelines are available at https://www.gov.za/coronavirus/guidelines