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22 June 2021

HSRC to look at how healthcare workers have managed their own health during the COVID-19 pandemic

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Pretoria, Monday 21 June 2021 – The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), will look at how frontline healthcare personnel manage their own physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This follows the work done by the HSRC in collaboration with  UKZN Medical School,  Edendale Hospital and medical students from Walter Sisulu University in April-May 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic.  

This study aims to:

  • Provide an in-depth understanding of the lived experiences, challenges and vulnerabilities of healthcare personnel and their families amidst the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Describe the psychosocial and healthcare support services that are currently available for healthcare personnel
  • Explore the factors that contribute to anxiety and stress amongst healthcare personnel
  • Describe the extent and severity of Covid-19 stigma felt by healthcare personnel

The study will be conducted in the Western Cape, Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal since these provinces have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Healthcare personnel will be recruited through a network of partners to participate in: in-depth interviews, key informant interviews and an electronic platform known as ‘Covid Confidential’ to record personal stories of trauma amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Healthcare personnel have been at the forefront of fighting the pandemic and protecting them from COVID-19 has been a global priority.  Against this background, it is very important to understand how the pandemic has affected the health and wellbeing of these soldiers in the fight against COVID-19.

In South Africa, hundreds of healthcare personnel have succumbed to the disease and as it becomes clear that the country has entered the third wave of the pandemic, at 2% of those being hospitalised are healthcare personnel.

The study will conclude on 31st August 2021.

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organizations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

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For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
Manusha Pillai
Mobile:  082 389 3587