While mindful of the risks of exposure to covid-19 healthcare workers are getting on with the job of containing the coronavirus.

Doctors have experienced drastic changes within their profession since the outbreak of Covid-19 and Professor Feroza Motara (56), a doctor at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH), has experienced these changes first-hand.

As head of the Emergency Unit at CMJAH, as well as the academic head of the Emergency Medicine division at the University of Witwatersrand, Motara has been at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, as both a doctor and an educator.

During an interview via Zoom, due to the covid-19 lockdown restrictions, Motara told Wits Vuvuzela about the nerve-racking impacts of the pandemic.

Her day-to-day routine has become “very different”, with the added risk associated with the virus and how this has altered her perception on the importance of mindfulness.

“You are no longer just responsible for your own health, but you could potentially be risking the people close to you as well,” she says. However, in spite of the risks, “At the end of the day, you have to go on and do what needs to be done.”

Covid-19 was the core motivation for Motara and her colleagues to create a transparent protection device called the Intubox, that is placed over the head and neck to limit contact between healthcare workers and patients in intensive care.

Prof Feroza Motara and her colleagues developed the Intubox, to prevent covid-19 ICU infections. Photo: Provided

Dr. Jana Du Plessis (32), who was part of the innovative process, says, “It prevents aerosolised droplets from spreading during airway procedures such as intubation.”

The protection of healthcare workers is vital to limit the risk of exposure and the containment of the virus.

“South Africa already has a huge shortage of trained doctors and nurses, so the protection of staff is important,” Motara says.

She also assisted in preparing for the arrival of 114 South African citizens returning from Wuhan, China, on Saturday, March 14.  She led the Gauteng healthcare team in evaluating the staff of The Ranch Resort outside Polokwane, where the quarantined arrivals would stay.

Her brother, Dr Riaz Motara (51), a private cardiologist, is full of praises for her dedication to public service.

“She always provides the highest quality and care to all her patients,” he told Wits Vuvuzela.

FEATURED IMAGE: Professor Feroza Motara pictured inspecting tents for screening covid-19 patients. Photo: Provided