Byrone Athman
2 minute read
28 Apr 2021
06:33

Pietermaritzburg hospital to add beds as South Africa prepares for third wave

Byrone Athman

With a possible Covid-19 third wave looming, Royal Rehab Hospital has been granted a 52-bed licence by the Department of Health to allow it to accommodate more patients should the need arise.

With a possible Covid-19 third wave looming, Royal Rehab Hospital has been granted a 52-bed licence by the Department of Health to allow it to accommodate more patients should the need arise.

The expansion will see the hospital converting its second floor to be fitted with the additional 52 beds in just over a year.

This is part of the hospital’s post Covid-19 rehabilitation initiative, which seeks to address health issues faced by those recovering from the virus.

“The rehabilitation programme takes on a holistic approach to the patient’s needs, and programmes developed are goal-specific and aim to improve the quality of life and help to regain the patient’s highest functional level.”
Hospital manager Nazeem Essa

Started in 2020 as a response to the pandemic, the programme targets those affected by the virus who may have developed long-term health complications. These include decreased muscle strength, cognitive impairment, and overall functional ability of their bodies.

Royal’s marketing and public relations officer Shubnum Ismail said the rehabilitation has a full staff complement including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, dieticians, social workers and psychologists.

“The rehabilitation programme takes on a holistic approach to the patient’s needs, and programmes developed are goal-specific and aim to improve the quality of life and help to regain the patient’s highest functional level,” said hospital manager Nazeem Essa.

“We believe in a therapy approach that gets our patients into real-life environments and so you will find us doing therapy at the bedside, in kitchens, parking lots, on the stairwell, the mall and even the nearby McDonalds.”
Nazeem Essa

Essa said the psychological and physical effects of Covid-19 extend well after the virus is no longer in one’s system.

“We believe in a therapy approach that gets our patients into real-life environments and so you will find us doing therapy at the bedside, in kitchens, parking lots, on the stairwell, the mall and even the nearby McDonalds. Performing therapy in everyday circumstances and environments helps to promote your independence,” she said.

Those applicable to join the rehabilitation programme are:

• Patients recovering from moderate to severe Covid-19 infection and now require general muscle strengthening

• Patients admitted to high care or ICU and required oxygen or ventilation for longer than five days

• Patients recovering from acute respiratory distress syndrome and no longer require ventilation or oxygen therapy

• Patients who have a tracheostomy

• Patients recovering from severe weakness, poor mobility, muscle wasting and poor physical endurance and

• Patients who have sustained possible cognitive and memory loss.