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UKZN, together with Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), investigates impact of COVID-19 on health workers

The University of KwaZulu-Natal's College of Health Sciences in partnership with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), will conduct a joint survey looking at how COVID-19 is impacting on health workers.

Health workers are on the frontline of the global fight against COVID-19. Across the world, with South Africa being no exception, health workers have also been infected with the virus.

With this in mind, the HSRC and UKZN would like to understand how the virus is affecting South African health workers - both physically and emotionally.

The survey, conducted on an online platform, will look at some of the following issues:

* Expanded professional designations - nurses, medical practitioners, medical students, support staff as well as allied healthcare workers; * Current role in the healthcare sector; * Have healthcare workers received training on dealing with COVID-19; * Levels of knowledge, awareness and attitudes to COVID 19; * The use and access to personal protective equipment in the workplace; * Perceptions of risk in the workplace; * Concerns in relation to COVID-19; and * Health and psychosocial well-being of the respondent.

Professor Priscilla Reddy (HSRC), the lead researcher on the study, has asked "all health workers to please share the link with colleagues so that government can ascertain a better picture of what is happening in the medical fraternity as it responds to COVID-19. If we can understand this better, we can ensure the correct interventions to protect health workers physically and emotionally."

Professor Mosa Moshabela, head of UKZN's COVID-19 War Room and Dean of the School of Nursing and Public Health, said: "We are very happy to work with the HSRC on this survey and to be part of national efforts to understand how COVID-19 is impacting on our health professionals. We ask all health professionals to please take a few minutes to fill in this questionnaire. It will help us to understand how we should help and support you. To make it as easy as possible, we have also chosen a data free platform."

To participate in the study, please click on the link: www.hsrc.ac.za/heroes.

The data from this survey will be used to advise government on how to capacitate health workers to ensure they are able to deliver quality healthcare services, particularly as South Africa prepares for a possible increase in COVID-19 diagnoses later in the year.

Dr Priscilla Reddy, HSRC: [email protected] Professor Mosa Moshabela: 0834943089