About 2 500 healthcare workers are set to benefit from an initiative that is aimed at providing them with accommodation at various establishments in the hospitality industry. 

Through Ubuntu Bed, 15 000 rooms have been made available at over 869 hospitality establishments across the country. 

Health-e News speaks to a Cape Townbased doctor, one of the many health care workers who have been able to stay at a hotel for at least two weeks. 

“I had to move to Cape Town during lockdown and as a result, I didn’t have any furniture or a proper place to stay. I also couldn’t ask friends and family to host me as I am a high risk to spread Covid-19 to them. I cannot thank Ubuntu Beds enough for the amazing service they have been delivering to various doctors and HCW [health care workers] around the country,” says the doctor, who wishes not to be named. 

He works at Tygerberg Hospital where four staff members have died from Covid-19 and says that these have been trying times for him and his colleagues. 

“Nothing in medical school or training prepares one for what we are currently facing. It comes at a great cost to onemental and physical health. However, nothing will ever compare to the suffering that we get to see on a daily basis and its scary to think that things may get worse than this,” he adds. 

The Ubuntu Beds initiative is the brainchild of a hotel owner who decided to unite hospitality businesses that have been empty since the lockdown begun in March. 

Kim Whitaker, founder of the initiativehopes to raise funds to accommodate up to 2 500 public healthcare workers over the next four months. 

“Ubuntu Beds has given us a way to show our gratitude to health care heroes while supporting local tourism businesses. By offering accommodation it means that they can keep their doors open and most importantly retain their staff. Our goal is to raise R16 million to ensure our healthcare workers are taken care of.” 

Since its launch, 59 doctors and nurses have been placed where they have access to self-catering facilities, and in some instances Wi-Fi, TV, and laundry services. 

Their average stay is between seven and 14 days and is open to both the private and public sector. – Health-e News