NASREC was set up by government as a 475 bed Quarantine and Isolation site. It has been poorly utilised with only a third of the beds used. There was no oxygen available and a very nominal complement of staff, all to cater to well patients. All this as of 6th July 2020. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has moved faster in Gauteng than officials expected.
A support process to NASREC was initiated by 6th July 2020, led by senior clinicians from Internal Medicine in the three big hospitals of Johannesburg and Family Medicine in Johannesburg Health District and supported by volunteers. Dr. Tom Boyles (from ANOVA in Helen-Joseph Hospital) offered to lead the clinical team and is doing that on the ground in NASREC with public health specialist, Ms. Lynne Wilkinson. They have been supported by Prof Richard Cooke of Wits Family Medicine to recruit volunteers and raise donations in the community. They managed to muster 70 oxygen concentrators and a volunteer roster of doctors, clinical associates, and nurses to start admitting patients to 210 beds designated for this purpose. They were ready to admit 5 patients as of 13th July.
Because of the challenges of management inertia in Gauteng in the weeks before, the MEC met with the overall team on 13th July 2020 to give material support, promising support for more oxygen concentrators and staff to build the capacity of NASREC. MEC Dr. Bandile Masuku thanked all those involved for the process undertaken so far. There were commitments to build up capacity at NASREC to an additional 1000 oxygenated beds by mid-August to allow down-referrals of recovering patients from the big hospitals to NASREC, thus creating capacity for major hospitals to admit more sick patients. There is plenty of room for clinical and non-clinical volunteers as well as donations.
If you want to volunteer: Click and fill this form.
Map to NASREC. Here are instructions: If you go on the M1 South towards Soweto take the NASREC offramp on the left just before the N12 for Soweto. As you curve right on the offramp over the M1 keep left to join the offramp to stop on NASREC Road at the robot. As you take a right and proceed on NASREC Road under the bridge and then ±2km/2 robots later you will find the first white-poled street lamps indicating the NASREC block. Turn left into the Rand Show Road at the beginning of those white-poled street lamps and then turn right ±500m at the first set of robots. AS you drive into NASREC you will see Gate 5 right in front of you. Just go up to the gate and honk.
Here is training for clinical volunteers:
You can also donate via Wits or deposit directly using details below.
- Account Name: WitsHealth
- Bank: FNB
- Branch code: 255005
- Account no. 54861165389
- Reference: AD51 Oxygen
- Swift code is FIRNZAJJ
- International branch code is 21055400