News | Published April 19 2020

Managing Director of Rhodsac Community: “Most suppliers had run out of vital equipment to protect our staff and residents”

Following the government promise to deliver more tests for Covid-19 to care providers when laboratory capacity increases, The Parliamentary Review spoke with Manyara Irene Muyenziwa, the managing director of Rhodsac Community Living on the impact of Covid-19 on the provision of care in her organisation.

Muyenziwa is quick to note the problems caused by a lack of PPE across the country. She states: “Most suppliers had run out of vital equipment to protect our staff and residents. This has led to most of staff not turning up for work due to fear of cross contamination of the virus to either the residents or their family members.”

The lack of PPE has not been an issue exclusive to the UK, with the USA faring particularly poorly. The New York Times reported on Thursday that the USA was requesting a relaxation in export rules to allow desperately needed medical equipment to be sent to the country.

The response to social distancing has also been on Muyenziwa’s mind. Technology has been a blessing, and Rhodsac are using virtual methods of communication for those “missing their families due to the interruption of social contact and centralised quarantine.” The care provider has “implemented certain technology, use of video intercommunication, use of iPads and computers, Skype and Zoom in order for staff and residents to make contact with their families.”

The use of Zoom has proven particularly controversial of late, with experts warning that the platform presents a privacy disaster. The company’s 535 per cent increase in use over the past month makes clear the use of alternate means of communication during the pandemic.

The importance of testing is a cause for concern for Muyenziwa. She considers that: “We have seen testing demands go up exponentially in other countries and testing would have helped us to know who has the infection and who hasn’t so that our staff can feel more comfortable in going back to work.

“We are pleased to see that the case growth is reaching a plateau, however, the risk of new infections is still a concern in our communities.”

Muyenziwa concludes, praising the invaluable work of key workers, who she feels have “stepped forward in working with a level of urgency and purpose, especially considering the high-risk environment where everyone is at risk whether young or old.”

Her sentiment is echoed by those across the country who come together to applaud our care workers every Thursday night at 8 o’clock.

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
April 19 2020

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