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Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital

Klipfontein Road Rondebosch, 7700 Cape Town, South Africa

Children’s Voices on COVID-19 Announced Winners of WHO Innovation Challenge

We are thrilled to announce that Children’s Voices on COVID-19 has been chosen as one of the two winners of the Reboot Health & Wellbeing Innovation Challenge! Congratulations to all the Child and Young Reporters involved in this project at RX Radio and well done to team members Talitha Counter, Luzuko Sonkapu, Alaweyah Mogali and Chris Booth for being the face of the project at the WHO.

The winners were announced by the Director General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a special virtual event on Tuesday the 7th of July 2020. During the event, Talitha gave a great presentation where she spoke about our Children’s Voices on COVID-19 project and the work that we have been doing in bringing children’s perspectives on the global pandemic to the forefront. Talitha also answered some questions from Dr Tedros, as well as questions from the audience who attended the event.

The innovation challenge, which was organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), with the support of the UN Office of Information and Communications Technology (UN-OICT), UNAIDS, the World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF, was made to “inspire young people from around the world to develop solutions to one of the most urgent health challenges for the next decade: Keeping young people safe.”

As RX Radio, we believe in the importance of children having a voice about health issues that affect them and in the power of child participation in global health issues. As a result, the three Young Reporters and RX Radio producer entered this innovation challenge using the Children’s Voices on COVID-19 project to highlight the importance of including children’s perspective, ideas and experiences during the global Coronavirus pandemic. You can find out more on this project below:

140 ideas were submitted for this challenge from around the world and we are grateful that this project was one of the two chosen from all those ideas to be the winners. If you would like to see the virtual event that was hosted by the WHO, take a look at the video below:

RX Radio Supports the Black Lives Matter Movement

Black Lives Matter. It is this specific movement that is arguably one of the greatest civil rights movements of all time. This movement has encouraged so many people from diverse backgrounds to come together to support one cause and should be praised as any other organisation that celebrates the dignity, respect and protection of life. RX Radio is joining the movement and is taking a stand for Black Lives Matter.

Protests broke out in America and across the world after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May 2020. The protests take took place showed the continued support that the Black Lives Matter movement has all over the globe. In South Africa, citizens stood up for the movement by protesting not only the death of George Floyd and many others, but also those such as Collins Khosa who were killed by South African army during the lockdown.

RX Radio participated in the #BlackOutTuesday movement, where many public figures and the general public posted a black square to signify their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. RX Radio has also taken to our social media platforms to show support and solidarity for all black lives that have been lost, hurt and wrongfully accused. RX Radio recognises the pain and suffering that many have gone through. We also stand with the movement’s opposition to police brutality and the part that it plays in racism in society. RX Radio Reporter Alex has also been mentioning the importance of this campaign throughout the RX Radio Breakfast show. In light of this, RX Radio is dedicating this blog post to those who may have suffered in any way shape or form at the hands of people in power. #BlackLivesMatter and it’s time we all stand together.  RX Radio encourages others to take a stand and join the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We hope to appeal to the humanity of everybody to join this just cause.

Boosting Morale during COVID-19

It is no secret that the Coronavirus pandemic has left many of us wondering what the future holds and can leave us feeling scared and uneasy. During this uncertain time, RX Radio has been bringing you information, education and entertainment around this topic to boost morale and make everyone feel a bit more at ease during this time.

As you may know, two of the Young RX Radio Reporters have been able to broadcast their shows live from their homes: RX Radio Breakfast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 09:00 to 11:00 and Qaqamba’s Inspiration during COVID-19 on Thursdays from 13:00 to 14:00. To help lift everyone’s spirits, RX Radio has started interviewing some stand-up comedians and religious leaders as part of a boosting morale series.

Boosting Morale with Comedy

Every Monday, a comedian is featured on RX Radio Breakfast with Alex. Mark Lottering, a popular stand-up Cape Town comedian, was the first to be interviewed by RX Radio Reporter Alex on Monday 18 May 2020, where he had discussed life as a comedian and how he is coping during the COVID- 19 pandemic – he even talks about what he’d do if he were a frontline worker! [CHECK OUT] his interview below.

The second interview on the 25th of May 2020 was with Crescendo Louw, a Video Journalist for etv and eNCA by day and a comedian by night. [CHECK OUT] his interview here where he talks about bringing jokes to front line workers, as well as how he’s been coping being a journalist during this time:

The third interview that was on Monday 1 June was with Yaaseen Barnes, a one-liner comedian who chats about what he’s found funny during the lockdown as well as his appreciation for all frontline workers.

Make sure you catch RX Radio Breakfast catch a new comedian featured every Monday at 10:30. You can also head over to our YouTube Channel to watch the videos as they are uploaded.

Interfaith Interviews

Over on Qaqamba’s Inspiration during COVID-19, there is a new interfaith feature where a different faith leader will be interviewed every week to give some spiritual support and guidance to all listeners. This feature started on 21 May 2020 where Qaqamba interviewed Pastor Melaney Klaasen, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital Chaplain. [LISTEN] to the interview here:

For the second interfaith interview on 28 May 2020, we had Imam Shaheed Gamieldien – who is a part of an imam group at the Claremont Main Road Mosque and is also a retired school teacher. [TAKE A LISTEN BELOW]:

The third interfaith interview took place on the 4th of June 2020 and featured Guru Krishna, the officiating priest at Siva Aalayam Temple in Rylands. He is also a member of the Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum and a part of the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative. [TAKE A LISTEN] to his interview below:

[TUNE IN] to RX Radio on Thursdays at 13:30 for more interviews with religious leaders in the interfaith feature – or find them on our Podbean.

Bringing our listeners all the necessary information, education and entertainment is always at the top of our list and during such trying times we all need a little motivation and inspiration. That is why you should keep an eye out for more interviews with comedians and faith leaders in the coming weeks. RX Radio hopes that everyone is staying safe, healthy and positive.

Western Cape Government Digital Press Conference on COVID-19 Scenario Planning in the Western Cape

On Thursday, 28 May 2020, the Western Cape Government held a digital press conference via Facebook, which outlined the updated COVID-19 scenario planning for the Western Cape.

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, opened the press conference and spoke about the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) having been set up with 850 beds to be a hospital facility for COVID-19 patients.

Western Cape Minister of Health, Nomafrench Mbombo, followed and spoke briefly on how the health care system is adapting daily on how to handle the pandemic.

Professor Andrew Boulle from the Western Cape Government Department of Health (WCGH) made a presentation on expectations (such as rate of hospitalisation) during COVID-19 in the Western Cape.

Members of the Actuarial Society of South Africa presented Models, which are tools to understand how the future might pan out under certain assumptions. The Models included projections of bed requirements and the expected peak of infections in the Western Cape. The peak of infections is expected to be in July and around 7800 beds would be needed in the Province.

Head of WCGH, Dr Keith Cloete spoke about the increased pressure on the health care system due to the pandemic. Additional human resource capacity is needed, as more health care workers are getting infected. This reduces the number of staff who can attend to patients, whilst the number of patients is increasing. He noted that this is not a challenge unique to the Western Cape as many other regions internationally have experienced this. WCGH is working towards getting more staff from other parts of country to assist.

The press conference was concluded with a question and answers session from members of the media who posed various questions to the speakers.

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Qaqamba’s Inspirational Corner Live from Home

Given the current situation that our country and the world is facing with Coronavirus, it is safe to say that we all need a little inspiration and motivation these days. That is why RX Radio is still bringing all the information and entertainment straight to you and we are excited to announce that Qaqamba’s Inspiration Corner will be kicking off this Thursday the 14th of May from 13:00 to 14:00 and will be broadcast from Qamamba’s home using the Outside Broadcasting Unit!

Qaqamba’s show is known for its motivational and empowering topics, it’s inspirational guests, and its great positivity. So [TUNE IN] to Qaqamba’s inspirational Corner every Thursday from 13:00 till 14:00 on!

My Health Journey podcast put on hold

You may know that once a month RX Radio releases at least one new My Health Journey podcast. Each podcast episode focuses on a different health issue that provides insight into the health journey of a patient – their challenges, successes, and advice – and are intended for incoming patients who are facing the same issues. Since last year, we have also released episodes that explore different rights that children should have in hospital. However, with the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, the “My Health Journey” podcasts will be delayed and some put on hold during this time.

But it’s not all bad news, since we are collecting experiences of children, parents and healthcare workers during this time, there will be podcasts released about COVID-19 at a later stage. RX Radio takes pride in bringing you the best quality content; and in this case it will be no different. We sincerely hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy at home.

The Easing of the Lockdown: President Ramaphosa’s Speech 22 April 2020

Last night, the 23rd of April 2020, President Ramaphosa gave a speech about the lockdown and how it will be slowly relaxed over time. He spoke about five different levels of lockdown and that on the 1st of May 2020, we will be going from Level 5 to Level 4. Here is what each level of the lockdown means:

  • Level five: means strict rules are needed to stop the spread of the virus to save lives (we are now on Level 5).
  • Level four: means that some activities can start again, but that we must still be very careful to limit community transmission and outbreaks (Level 4 will start on the 1st of May 2020).
  • Level three: means relaxing some restrictions, including on work and social activities to address high risk of transmission.
  • Level two: means relaxing more restrictions, but keeping social distancing and rules on some fun and social activities to stop the virus coming back.
  • Level one: means that most normal activities can start again with precaution and health guidelines followed at all times.

The President also said that different areas in the country (provinces, districts, communities) could have different levels depending on how serious the Coronavirus spread is in those areas.

If you want to find out more about the President’s speech, you can check out the full speech here or you can wait for the Ministers to give more information and detail on how it will be implemented.

We thank the President again for his leadership, keeping the public informed and taking steps to keep us safe.

Pic Credit: EWN

The President’s Speech on the Economy 21 April 2020

On Tuesday the 21st of April, President Ramaphosa addressed the nation on expanded COVID-19 economic and social relief – meaning that he spoke to us about how the government is going to help those people, groups, organisations, and businesses who are struggling during this time of lockdown and the Coronavirus pandemic.

In his speech, the President announced a huge amount of money – R500 billion – that will be used in many ways, but mainly in the following:

  • A large health budget to respond to COVID-19,
  • To relieve hunger and social needs,
  • To support for companies and workers that are struggling,
  • To help the economy to re-open step-by-step.

President Ramaphosa also announced that child support grants will be increased by R300 in May and R500 from June to October. All other people who receive grants will get an extra R250 per month for the next six months. There is also a special COVID-19 Special Relief of Distress grant of R350 a month for the next six months for people who are unemployed and do not receive any other form of social grant or UIF payment.

The South African Social Security Agency – SASSA – will roll out food vouchers that will aid those in desperate need of food and the Department of Social Development has partnered with many organisations to distribute 250,000 food parcels across the country over the next two weeks.

He has also said that with the roll out of all these measures, “we are determined to ensure that women, youth and persons with disability receive particular attention and support”. However, he did not explain this further.

The President will hold another address this evening the 23rd of April 2020 to give more information about how the government is dealing with the pandemic and to give us more details on the lockdown and the way forward.

For the full speech from Tuesday 21st of April 2020, click here.

Pic Credit:

A Note on the Lockdown Extension

Thank you Mr President for your leadership in steering the Nation during these time of COVID-19.

Last night you told us why it was important to extend the lockdown until the end of April. You spoke to us honestly and presented us with facts. “There is sufficient evidence that the lockdown is working”, you said. The lockdown is “a matter of survival. We must do all in our power to prevent the massive loss of life”. We fully agree with you.

All our lives are affected by this pandemic and during this time more than ever, we join the nation in supporting in any way we can.

As RX Radio we are committed to continue to provide a platform for children and youth to express their opinions, feelings, challenges and fears about what is happening to them during the pandemic. Their voices need to continue to be taken seriously by adults, especially decision makers and policy-formulators, to help them shape the response to the pandemic and the aftermath that will surely follow.

Mr President, you asked us “to endure even longer (and) make greater sacrifices. Unless we take these measures now, the coronavirus pandemic will engulf and consume our country”.

As RX Radio we pledge to do our best to continue to inform, educate and entertain our audience and, in this way, be part of the national effort in overcoming this pandemic.

(Photo Credit: EWN)