An Eastern Cape village chief is urging fellow compatriots and traditional leaders to take a stance against Covid after losing two siblings to the virus in one day.
Chief Mpumalanga Gwadiso of the Khonjwana village in Engceleni said he has now realised vaccination was the only hope for people.
“People must be encouraged to get the vaccine, to be protected against the deadly virus,” said Gwadiso.
“I have taken the first step to get vaccinated and show the people I lead that vaccines are our only hope for survival and that they do not kill.
“On 6 December 2020, my older sister passed away due to Covid complications.
“On the very same day, hours later my other sister, who is the first-born, died due to Covid complications.
“Immediately after we had buried my sisters, my older sister’s son also passed away from the same virus a day later.
“Days later, two other family members tested positive and were hospitalised, but luckily they survived,” he added.
He said he was happy with how the community has since welcomed the vaccination programme, especially at the time when vaccine hesitancy was high.
“The community has welcomed the government’s initiative and almost everyone – both young and old – in our village has made use of the opportunity to get vaccinated.”