CEO shares her story about how children have been affected by COVID-19

St Josephs interview in Archdiocesan News

COVID-19 has impacted on the operations at St Joseph’s. We asked Christelle Cornelius (CEO) about the challenges.

What has the impact of the virus been on St Joseph’s Home?

St Joseph’s is a home where children are in long term care and we sometimes see ourselves as a closed environment. The impact has been on many levels and the reality is that we feel very vulnerable for our children as they need access to 24 hours of nursing care. We had to implement many checks and balances regarding every entrance and exit point at the Home, the childrens nutrition, their physical and mental wellbeing and their transport to hospital visits. Our more than 130 staff members are screened daily, uniforms disinfected and changed on-site, as well as employees supported during their isolation and positive diagnoses. Caring for our staff is crucial for them to be able to care for the children.

What have you done to abide by the rules and regulations of COVID?

We are a nursing lead facility and guided by the Department of Health (DOH) infection control guidelines. At an early stage, we were already thinking about the impact of the virus and what it could mean. Planning meetings regarding scenarios were discussed as part of our preparedness. This initially included infection control in our wards, but as COVID hit our country, awareness escalated. We met with the Department of Health and did a risk assessment for the entire Home. Risk factors were identified, like entrance and exit points, screening of staff, the wearing of masks and the complete restriction of all interns, volunteers and parent visits to St. Joseph’s Facial expressions like smiling, have always been such an important part of all communications and interactions.

Now, living behind a mask, how did this change things here?

A child needs to be able to connect with you and that includes a lot of facial expressions. Initially, our therapists wore visors, instead of masks. Since masks have become compulsory we are guided by our values. How do we engage with one another? We cannot see so much of the facial expression, but what is important is that we still engage respectfully. We respect each other by wearing masks.

Why is the physical contact between a parent and a child so important and how do you mitigate that at St Joseph’s?

Now, with the lockdown parental contact has not been possible. As a mother myself, I cannot imagine going a night without my child, not seeing them and understanding their wellness. Having a place like St Joseph’;s to care for medically fragile children allows parents to feel that they are well supported and in a safe place. It does not ignore the longing between a parent a child. Maintaining contact with parents throughout is reassuring them that we are giving their children loving care. Nurses and staff can only do so much in terms of daily care, but you cannot replace the bond between a parent and a child. So we recognized that this is difficult and have now started to re-integrate parents back into the Home to visit their children. However, we take many precautions in facilitating these visits and parents are debriefed before visits. Until 5 August a total of 22 individual parental visits have been facilitated, while three parents did not meet screening criteria at the entrance. This has been very sad.

 

See full interview in

Covid-19 Impact at St Josephs

Full Web News : http://adct.org.za/archdiocesan-news-3-of-3030/


Video: (Post Production)"Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on St Joseph's Home"

Special video production to archive the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on St Joseph’s Home is currently in post-production. This short music montage gives an insight into the impact of the lockdown regulations on parental visits to the Home. This special song, LET US KEEP OUR DISTANCE, was written, composed, and performed (together with his three daughters) by Anton Scholtz, a resident from St Helena Bay on the Cape West Coast.


Thank you St Joseph's

A letter of appreciation from a service provider:

 

The staff and I thank St Joseph’s Home for the support in getting your masks from us. Your order encouraged us to get the mask making started and on the go.  It has meant we have been able to employ staff and stay open instead of having to close down.  Our families have food on the table and we are continuing to make masks

 

Kind Regards

Gail Brown

MANAGING DIRECTOR

OGGI ACTIVEWEAR

hdrpl

Thank you Kimberley-Clark!

St Joseph’s would like to express our sincere appreciation for a donation of 809 nappy packs valued at R 180 975.19!

Your donation will be a huge saving to the home, and we are grateful receiving a total of 40 442 nappies. This will stretch the need of nappies in two wards over a period of 160 days.


Calore Donation


Thank you to Calore Fireplaces and Stoves who once again donated 70 (15kg) bags of pellets to St Joseph’s valued at R5 000 to warm up the eco-friendly fireplaces in the wards.  This gesture is much appreciated!


Cape Town Clothing Guild donates much needed winter clothes!

This donation is a huge expense savings to the Home, and we are grateful to have received the following items:

  • 5 x bags winter clothing (jerseys, jackets, pants, sleepwear, warm hats, underwear’s, socks, dresses, tops, shorts, scarfs, vests, etc.)
  • 2 x boxes infant clothing (towel nappies, and baby blankets)

The above donation will help us to reduce the quantity of stock that still to be purchased, and will keep our children looking beautiful and warm throughout the cold days of 2020 winter season.

Thank you!


Rheinmetall Denel Munition Donation

Hand sanitizing liquid equals liquid gold during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, St Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children welcomed a generous donation of 21 boxes of 500 ml of bottles of sanitizer from Rheinmetall Denel Munition. Handing over, is Milan Bohacek (CFO) Rheinmetall with Christelle Cornelius (CEO at St Joseph’s) and Matron Audrey Gourrah. St Joseph’s cares for more than 120 patients and has a bed capacity of 175. All its staff of more than 130 are regarded essential and report for duty each day. More than 75 litres of hand sanitizer is used each week! St Joseph’s is situated in Montana and has been under lockdown since the end of March.


St Joseph’s honours and celebrates its staff: Meeting challenges of COVID 19 in caring for its vulnerable patients.

Today St Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children celebrates and honors its more than 130 staff who are all committed to making a difference since the COVID 19 lockdown started. While our gates are closed for visitors, donors, and friends, our hearts remain open and we believe we have been called to serve, protect and care for the patients in our wards.  Thank you to all our clinical, operational, admin and resource development staff!

Every April 7, the World Health Organization chooses to highlight a special theme current in the wellness and medical world. Ranging from mental health to insurance and everything in between, this day sets the tone for what’s to come in the world stage. This year’s World Health Day will shine a light on nurses and midwives, the on-the-call, restless workforce that revolutionized the healthcare industry as we know it today.

World Health Day, was created in December 1945, when officials of Brazil and China proposed the creation of an international health organization, that is all-encompassing and absolutely independent from any government powers.

Half a year later, in New York, in July 1946, the constitution of the World Health Organization was approved. Said constitution entered into force on April 7, 1948, as 61 countries signed in agreement for the inception of the NGO.

As one of the first official acts of WHO, they created the celebration of World Health Day. It was first observed on July 22, 1949, but the date was later changed to April 7, the establishment of WHO, to encourage student participation.

Since 1950, the Worth Health Day uses a different theme and theme each year selected by the current WHO Director-General, based on the suggestions of the member governments and staff.
World Health Day provides a global opportunity to focus attention on important public health issues that affect the international community. On the occasion of World Health Day, promotional programs are launched that continue for a long time after April 7.

World Health Day 2020 will shine a light on the vital role played by nurses and midwives in providing health care around the world, where advocacy events will be held around the world, including the launch of the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing Report, which will provide planning to optimize the contributions of the nursery workforce, with a similar report on the Midwifery workforce to be done in 2021.

Source: World Health Day

 

Nurses Day 2019 (Below)


Responding to COVID19 and the needs of our time

Dear Valued Friends, Supporters and Donors

For the past 85 years, St Joseph’s Home has been one of the pioneers in treating and caring for vulnerable and ill children who needed care and a safe place to heal.  Once again, SJH will play its part and meet, head on, the new life-threatening pandemic we are facing.

Many of you may still remember that ten Pallottine Sisters were summoned to South Africa in 1935 to start one of the first health facilities to care for ill and destitute children after the Great Depression.

Again, we will be guided by the St Joseph’s values and our mission to meet and respond to the signs of our times. This is at the heart of our Home. These values will now guide us as we face the uncertainty and impact brought about by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  A global and African challenge is our shared challenge and we feel deeply for those already directly impacted by this outbreak.

The safety of our children, staff and you, our valued supporters and friends, is our greatest priority. We are working closely with National and Provincial Health to vigilantly monitor the situation and adhering to all regulations to play our part and stop the virus from spreading.

Our children and staff are being empowered with relevant information and guided on personal hygiene and preventative measures in the Home.

As our valued friend, we would like to ask you to support us with the following safety measures we have taken to ensure everyone’s safety:

  • No external visitors will be allowed to enter the premises
  • No children will be allowed to visit on site
  • Persons entering the home may be subject to a Covid-19 screening
  • Sadly, no in-kind hand delivered donations can be accepted.

You may be aware that we are currently running our Easter Campaign for much needed baby toiletries. Please use our safe and simple online payment methods. You can even zapper scan and pay. Unfortunately we are no longer able to receive in kind donations at St Josephs premises.

Your online cash donations are now more needed than ever! Please continue giving

or CLICK AND DONATE

or EFT St Joseph’s Home for Children

Standard Bank| Account: 271166614| Branch Code: 036309| Swift : SBZAZAJJ

 

Once again we would like to thank you for your ongoing support of the Home and will keep you and your families in our thoughts and prayers in these difficult times.

Sincerely,

Adrian van Stolk

Chairperson St Joseph’s Home

 

Information to our Friends, Donors and Supporters

Issued by St Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children

Issued by Alrika Hefers: Resource Development Manager

Tel: 021-9340352

www. stjosephshome.org.za