Mowbray Maternity Hospital launches official jab programme

Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo with Nomsa Sithole who is seven months pregnant while getting her first Pfizer jab from Sister Melanie Holland at Mowbray Maternity Hospital.

Mowbray Maternity Hospital’s Covid-19 vaccination programme was officially launched on Tuesday October 19 by health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.

The hospital had already started the rollout last month and Sister Melanie Holland said it was a privilege for her to have administered the 200th vaccine.

“By vaccinating mothers, our staff who were initially hesitant also received vaccinations in this time.”

Sister Holland said she is proud to have also vaccinated one man that was visiting his wife at the hospital.

“We are also making the vaccine accessible to partners if they are interested.“

Head of Obstetric Services at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, Dr Chantal Stewart discussing the risks of Covid-19 for pregnant women.

Head of Obstetric Services at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, Dr Chantal Stewart said patients who are pregnant are most likely to contract severe Covid-19.

She said immunity is much lower during pregnancy.

“Therefore, you are not going to be able to fight the virus and the vaccination is there to assist and strengthen your body.“

Dr Stewart said the Covid-19 vaccine does not cause any abnormality in the baby.

The hospital’s CEO, Janine Joemat, said the hospital staff was happy and excited to see how many mothers were open to getting the vaccine.

“The vaccine is a heart and mind issue for all of us, you hear the facts, you hear the signs but all of us ultimately find the reason to why we do it,” she said.

Ms Joemat said it was powerful to know that during pregnancy it is not only your life that you are protecting, but the life of your baby’s as well.

She said staff want to ensure patients that they are giving them the best protection.

“Every morning staff goes out and speak to patients, they address their concerns, they listen to what patients have questions about and they try and answer as many questions and concerns as we can,” she said.

The vaccine programme is now part of the integrated package of care for every patient at Mowbray who has access to this.

Mowbray Maternity Hospital’s CEO, Janine Joemat Janine Joemat, Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo and pregnant mother who received her first J&J jab at 14 weeks on 22 September, Rizqua Barnes.

Pregnant mother of 28 weeks, Nolundi Zandoni, 36, was one of the first pregnant mothers who received their vaccinations at the official launch.

She received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Ms Zandoni said that she was very sceptical because people have been spreading fake news and she did not know what to believe anymore which made her very anxious and nervous about her decision.

“I simply did this for the safety of myself, my baby, and my family,” she said.

Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo and Gzeovanna-Lee Wilson having a brief discussion before Ms Wilson got vaccinated.

Gzeovanna-Lee Wilson, 28, another pregnant mother of 36 weeks, said that she is not doing this only for herself.

Ms Wilson received her first Pfizer jab.

“I am doing it for everyone around me because in today’s life it’s not just about you, after all, the virus affects everyone.”

Dr Stewart said the vaccine is safe and recommended.

“If you are not vaccinated, and you are pregnant, you are at risk of getting very ill and you are more likely to contract the virus than a 60 year old.”

Dr Mbombo said this initiative was very personal to her as a mother. “I appeal to everyone who has not been vaccinated to get their jab at any facility as we steadily approach the festive season.“