Development finance institution, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), has donated 110 isolation pods to the Eastern Cape Department of Health as part of its Covid-19 humanitarian response.
The isolation pods are manufactured in South Africa, to the standards aligned to the clinical requirements of the National Department of Health.
This forms part of the DBSA’s R150-million Covid-19 intervention, helping the national and provincial government’s response and ensuring that the economy is reignited.
“We have unique challenges in South Africa and therefore our response to Covid-19 has prompted us to take a nuanced approach.
"The isolation pods are an immediate solution that plugs the gap in the health service delivery value chain with respect to hospital beds, while also responding to the lack of isolation spaces for many of our citizens who cannot properly isolate,” says Chuene Ramphele, who is the DBSA's group executive responsible for Covid-19 interventions and infrastructure delivery.
“This innovation addresses the immediate infrastructure needs in the health sector and provides communities with a safe and dignified space where they can be quarantined and treated, if the need arises.
"The development of these isolation pods was completely local, and the impact of that procurement meant job creation, a nod to the DBSA’s philosophy of boosting local industries,“ he adds.
The isolation pods resemble a mobile hospital room measuring 2.5 m x 2.5 m, at a height of 2.3 m.
Each pod is fully equipped with a hospital bed, linen and the necessary personal protective equipment, along with a clean air filtration system and a lockable door.
The air flow system pulls infected air particles away from doctors and nurses through a negative air pressure system, which then flows to an air extraction system that kills any bacteria.
The unit has vinyl flooring with glass wall sections to allow for patient observation by medical staff.
The interior is well lit, has a counter unit with lockable storage and each pod has electrical connections for medical equipment.
To augment the screening and testing process that has been prioritised to flatten the curve, the DBSA says this donation is the first phase in infrastructure development support, which will later include the long-term provision of new and refurbished hospital and clinic facilities.