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On Tuesday, 27 July 2021, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) together with the Department of Health Vhembe District led by the MEC of Health Limpopo, launched a vaccination site to fight the spread of COVID-19. The UNIVEN vaccination site will assist not only staff and students, but also people around Thulamela Local Municipality. This launch took place at UNIVEN Sports Hall where Limpopo MEC of Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba said Limpopo Provincial Department of Health has tried their level best to vaccinate as many people as possible since the beginning of this vaccination programme, but she is still not satisfied with the current number of people who have so far been vaccinated. She said in terms of percentage they are just around 8% whereas the target was at least 67% by this time. 

She indicated that as a Department they still have a long way to go. “What is more critical is when you vaccinate those who have comorbidities and those who are above 60 years because they are more vulnerable. The best news is when those who are vulnerable are vaccinated, since we don’t have enough oxygen and facilities to give them when there is such a need. So, the best way to win in this situation is to get them vaccinated.” 

“I am very excited that old age people came in numbers to be vaccinated. In Limpopo we use this environment like the UNIVEN Sports Hall because they have enough space to allow social distancing. The President of South Africa, Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa, announced that the country will allow people between the ages of 18 and 34 to be vaccinated from the 1st of September 2021. We do not wait for that time before we start vaccinating, we are also here for our students and hopefully by 1st September we will be done with those who are 35 years and above so that we do not mix them with the youth or younger people who will be vaccinated at that time.” 

Dr Ramathuba thanked UNIVEN for working with government in this trying time. Most importantly, she commended UNIVEN final year Nursing students whom she has trained to assist in the vaccinating process and those students will also vaccinate their peers, come the 1st of September. 

Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni highlighted that being identified as a vaccination site, makes them feel proud because this responds to one of the University’s institutional values, that is to accept our social responsibility and community engagement in serving and contributing to the intellectual, social, and economic well-being of our communities. “We believe that we cannot be safe from COVID-19 if the entire surrounding community is not safe. We want to be a University that makes impact in the surrounding communities. Surrounding communities should benefit from this University.” 

Portia Tshimauswu, a 4th level UNIVEN Nursing student who is one of the nurses who vaccinate people at the UNIVEN vaccination site, said she is thankful to be one of the vaccinators. “I feel proud and very happy for this rare opportunity because I do what I love most, that is to save people’s lives.

Andani Makhani, level 4 UNIVEN Nursing student who is also part of the vaccinators, said she is proud to be part of people who assist communities where we all come from. “Seeing people’s lives being saved, is my passion. I’m very happy to be part of those who are saving lives from COVID-19”. 

 

Issued by: 

Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication 

University of Venda 
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710 
Date: 28 July 2021 

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