Stellenbosch University
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COVID-19: Appeal for volunteers
Author: Prof Jimmy Volmink
Published: 18/05/2020

Dear Colleagues​, Students and Alumni

We continue to adjust to the new realities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and its multi-faceted challenges. I would like express my appreciation to everyone who has continued to diligently fulfil their responsibilities and to those who are embracing new ways of learning and working. Thank you also for supporting each other during these difficult times.

The COVID-19 outbreak in the Western Cape is now growing rapidly, with extensive community spread and an increase in hospital admissions and deaths. An effective response to the pandemic depends on the involvement of volunteers to assist health workers and communities. We are extremely grateful to the student and staff volunteers who have been providing much needed assistance so far. The University and other stakeholders are now being called upon to scale up and intensify the support provided, on a number of fronts.

Volunteers have been assisting with the critically important activities of community case management and contact tracing. This involves telephonically tracking cases, their contacts, liaising with community teams, arranging admission into isolation facilities or hospitals and identifying clusters of infection. Teams, organised into small ‘pods’, have been working tirelessly over the past few weeks. They are now in much need of additional capacity to continue this crucial support to our health services and communities.

I am therefore extending this urgent appeal to staff, students and university alumni to please consider offering their services on a voluntary basis to supplement the efforts of teams tracking cases and contacts, and to assist with data capturing, where required. Some medical or health sciences training would be an advantage, but this is not essential, as relevant training will be provided to all volunteers. Experience in conducting interviews would be beneficial.

Should you be able and willing to assist as a volunteer kindly send an email message to to receive further information. Thank you in advance for your support. It will make a huge difference.

Kind regards

Prof Jimmy Volmink
Dean: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University