by Simangele Mzizi 29 Oct 2021
Facility Manager - Laetitia Saville

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CTICC Vaccine Centre: Beacon of Hope

In four short months, the CTICC’s Vaccination Centre of Hope has administered over 112 000 Covid-19 vaccines. One of the most sophisticated sites in the country, this phenomenal operation in the heart of the Cape Town CBD proves the power of extraordinary partnerships.

Partnership, trust, a shared vision, and the necessary expertise to turn that vision into reality. What do you get when they all work together seamlessly for the common good? The Vaccination Centre of Hope is based at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC 1) in the Central City.

One of the country’s largest and most sophisticated vaccination sites, the facility opened in July 2021 and is a joint venture between the City of Cape TownWestern Cape GovernmentDiscovery Health and the CTICC. It’s open to everyone eligible for vaccination and all parties jointly manage the site weekdays from 08h00 to 16h00 to ensure it runs smoothly.

Since taking over as CTICC CEO in January 2020, Taubie Motlhabane has overseen the conference venue’s transition from the temporary Hospital of Hope to the Vaccination Centre of Hope. She believes tourism recovery is reliant on people’s ability to meet safely.

“Any support we can give to assist in a faster recovery of the tourism industry is of paramount importance to us. Our staff and suppliers are incredibly proud to be part of the day-to-day operations of the Vaccination Centre of Hope and to be part of the solution,” says Motlhabane.


The vaccination centre is one of the most sophisticated sites in the country.

SYMBOL OF HOPE

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato says the centre has been a symbol of hope and compassion in the fight against Covid-19, offering a professional and well-run service to residents. He says: “Partnership, trust, a shared vision, and the necessary expertise to turn the vision into a reality makes it unique.”

Dr Ron Whelan, head of Discovery’s Covid-19 task team and chief commercial officer at Discovery Health, agrees and says the coalition shows the success of public-private collaboration that is needed to speed up South Africa’s vaccine rollout plan.

Says Dr Whelan: “We wanted to make sure that the journey through our vaccination sites is entirely intuitive and that clients experience a seamless service. We deployed a team with specialised skills to oversee the various aspects of the operation including overall coordination, supply of vaccines, clinical and facilities management, experience, various aspects of the technology solution and administrative functions.”


The vaccines are prepared at the centre.

IMPRESSIVE NUMBERS

To date, over 112 736 people have been inoculated at the facility which boasts up to 50 vaccination stations and an onsite pharmacy and cold-chain refrigeration. The average number of vaccines administered per day ranges between 1 500 and 2 000. The highest total achieved in one day was 3 261 on 19 September 2021 and the lowest was 540 on 30 September 2021.

These numbers are impressive and the result of teamwork by dedicated partners who are directing a 300-strong team that includes fully trained vaccinators, accredited healthcare professionals and administrative staff who leverage their combined skills and capacity to vaccinate as many people as possible.

At the helm is facility manager Laetitia Saville, head of nursing at the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre, who has 23 years of experience. She oversees the day-to-day operations to ensure everything runs like clockwork. A firm and fair leader, Saville’s day involves “planning and problem solving” to ensure people have a pleasant experience.

“Every Monday, we have an operational meeting where I pull in all the different partners, and we evaluate how we’re doing and iron out problems. I also have a lot of daily planning to ensure we can open the doors on time and that we have enough vaccines,” says Saville.


Vaccination Centre of Hope Facility Manager, Laetitia Saville.

AVERTING THE FOURTH WAVE

According to Dr Whelan, South Africa’s fourth Covid-19 wave is expected to start between December 2021 and January 2022. However, its impact can be reduced if more people get vaccinated.

“Based on our analysis and modelling, more than 25 000 deaths can be averted if we can vaccinate over 60 % of South Africa’s adult population before December 2021. Widespread vaccination before the end of the year will also help us avoid further lockdowns and harm to our economy,” says Dr Whelan.

Plato shares these sentiments and adds that: “It would mean life can return to relative normality sooner.” This is also true for Motlhabane who says: “The only way to get ahead of the pandemic is to work together”.

Together, the parties that work hard at the Vaccination Centre of Hope are the unsung heroes who are making this happen.

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IMAGES: CCID