To keep SA’s army of healthcare workers fighting the pandemic on the frontlines healthy and hydrated, the Rooibos industry has donated 78 000 cups of Rooibos tea to designated COVID-19 hospitals throughout the country.
Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council (SARC) says as the country accelerates toward the peak of the virus, our dedicated doctors, nurses and other medical staff are bearing the brunt as they risk their lives to care for COVID-19 patients.
“Hospitals are filling up every day and frontline staff are working long hours to battle the virus day and night. Many of them are exhausted – both physically and mentally – and even have scars from wearing protective devices, but they keep soldiering on. Now more than ever, we want to show our gratitude by supplying them with a steady stream of Rooibos tea to remind them that we care.”
Among the hospitals that will benefit from the donation are Groote Schuur, the Brackengate Field Hospital in Brackenfell (Western Cape), King Edward VIII and Grey’s Hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal, Charlotte Maxeke and Steve Biko Hospitals in Gauteng.
Dr Laurene Booyens, Medical Services Manager at Groote Schuur Hospital says they have been humbled by the generosity of the community and other organisations since the outbreak. “The donation of Rooibos tea has warmed our hearts and given staff a new spring in their step.”
Dr Barry Smith, CEO at the Brackengate Field Hospital says the gesture has helped to buoy morale and motivated staff to go the extra mile.
Dr Mathabo Mathebula, CEO of Steve Biko Hospital says it has kept the spirits of frontline workers up in a time of chaos.
Ntokozo Maphisa, Acting Head of Communications at King Edward VIII Hospital thanked the SA Rooibos Council for the donation and Dr Ben Bilinge at Grey’s Hospital says the tea will help to perk up staff and inspire them to continue to serve and care for the health needs of their community.
Du Toit says, staying hydrated is an essential part of overall wellness for everyone, but for doctors and nurses with high-intensity work shifts, it is even more critical.
“Drinking Rooibos will also reduce the likelihood of headaches and fatigue, which are common when opting for coffee or energy drinks that contain caffeine.
“Rooibos has been proved to fight stress, by lowering the stress hormone, cortisol, which will help health workers cope and is packed with antioxidants, that sustains a healthy immune system. Other health benefits include reducing the risk of vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis, which both play a role in the development of heart disease.
“It’s humbling to think that there are literally millions of medical staff around the world right now that are putting their lives on the line, often with limited resources. The donation is our way of showing appreciating and saying thank you for going beyond caring for patients during the pandemic. You are our true national heroes!”