Supporting South Africa’s fight against Covid-19
Eurolab is committed to keeping its staff and stakeholders up to date with accurate information about the Coronavirus pandemic. Our primary source of information is the South African government’s Coronavirus portal which houses the latest media statements, resources for employers and organisations to share with their teams and information on the spread of the virus, hotspot areas, number of infections etc. There is a lot of misinformation that is circulating which only curtails the country’s efforts to curb the spread manage the pandemic. We commend our Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, for his leadership during this pandemic and look forward to the rollout of more COVID-19 vaccines.
Supporting staff to ensure uninterrupted operations
When the pandemic hit South Africa in March last year, we responded quickly. Our staff were provided with the resources they needed to work effectively from home, and as platforms like Zoom and Teams quickly emerged, we were able to manage our teams and operations effectively. In achieving this, we were able to support oncologists and their cancer patients amidst a lot of fear and uncertainty.
Throughout the pandemic, Eurolab has continued to introduce new cancer medicines into its product portfolio. We secured licenses for our sales reps to visit oncologists, duties they performed with diligence to ensure everyone’s safety. Practices were contacted in advance, and as many open-air engagements as possible were arranged. In addition, our and reps were tested for COVID-19 every second week.
With our teams now back at work, rigorous safety protocols are in place across our operations.
Cancer patients more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection
It was concerning to the Eurolab team that those more vulnerable to COVID-19 included cancer patients. We took action by providing masks and sanitisers to the practices of our trusted oncologists and joined forces with Spar to distribute care packs to cancer patients in need. The packs included sanitisers, masks, food items and toiletries.
Helping young cancer patients in public facilities
We also teamed up with Rainbows and Smiles to help healthcare workers spoil their young cancer patients with special treats. Food parcels were donated to paediatric oncology wards at several hospitals including the Steve Biko Academic Hospital, the George Mukhari (Ga-Rankuwa) Hospital, the Unitas Hospital and the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.
Ramping up COVID-19 testing
Our oncology and haematology testing facility, Oncolab, expanded its specialised testing services to include COVID-19 testing for cancer patients and staff working in oncology practices. To alleviate the pressure on public and private laboratories, Oncolab has launched two drive-through COVID-19 testing facilities at its operations based at Midstream Medical Centre.
Gamma Knife South Africa
Strictly observing all safety protocols, the specialist Gamma Knife South Africa team at Netcare’s Milpark Hospital continued to treat patients suffering from diseases or abnormalities in and around the brain throughout the pandemic. The Gamma Knife is a less invasive alternative to microsurgery and treatments are completed in a single day without the need for hospitalisation.
Aseptic Services Unit (ASU)
Meanwhile, our ASU team in Midrand, Johannesburg, ensured the facility was ready to support public health departments and hospitals with the provision of quality-assured chemotherapy for cancer patients in rural and peri-urban areas. Testing and stability studies were conducted at the facility to maintain its South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA)-approved standards. This world class sterile Admixing facility centrally mixes chemotherapy bags with extended stability, and aims to safely deliver pre-mixed bags to treatment centres. Our goal is to support cancer patients in remote areas and minimise costly and exhausting travel to larger hospitals, where waiting periods can be long. For healthcare workers, The ASU makes for seamless administration of patient chemotherapy.