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
Should you be able and willing to assist as a volunteer kindly send an email
message to firstname.lastname@example.org
to receive further information. Thank you in advance for your support. It will
make a huge difference.
Prof Jimmy Volmink
Dean: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University