The Guard

The Truth On Board

Covid-19 survivors speak out

By Masilo Malakwane

QWAQWA – People’s experiences with different kinds of trauma took centre stage when the community of QwaQwa marked World Trauma Day last week.

The event was organised by the Qholaqhwe Advice Centre which partnered with stakeholders like pastors, social development, Correctional Services, SAPS and the health department, all of which are mandated to calm victims of trauma.

The director of Qholaqhwe Advice Centre, Mapaseka Madonsela, said they invited people from all walks of life who had encountered traumatic events and those who had recovered from Covid-19 to share their experiences.

“We saw the necessity to use this day to get Covid-19 survivors to share their journey to recovery with us. We have seen what our families and friends went through because of Covid-19 and thought we could do with advices on how people can treat themselves and claim their lives back,” Madonsela said.

Covid-19 survivor, Majara Abel Hlongwane related how he nearly lost his life and those that he loved.

Hlongwane, who works for the department of health, told The Guard that when he was firstly diagnosed with Covid-19 in December last year, he thought the world was crashing down on him.

“I was admitted at Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli Hospital after showing symptoms of Covid-19. What traumatized me the most was witnessing 20 other patients succumbing to the virus while in isolation.

Covid-19 survivor Puleng Koalane.

“When I learnt that I had also infected my 10-year old child, my health emotional health took a turn for the worse. I even had to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Bethlehem,” Hlongwane recalled.

Another Covid-19 survivor, Puleng Koalane, advised people to be on high alert to curb the spread of the virus. Koalane – a public servant at Thabo Mofutsanayana district –  said she contracted Covid-19 as she visited Kimberley in the Northern Cape.  

Elizabeth Ross Hospital matron Libuseng Mohale from says the department’s counselling programmes are available to assist families and victims of the virus.

“My life also became tougher after I was entrusted to look after my colleagues who were diagnosed with the virus. It was not an easy task but I have managed; remember, Covid-19 is here to stay.”