Dr Hashendra Ramjee is part of the team of doctors involved with the Kaizer Chiefs senior, reserve and youth academy divisions’ medical requirements. The medics have been busy during the Covid-19 lockdown with Kaizer Chiefs work, as well as assisting the government and individuals with medical support.
“As a General Practitioner, my work includes working closely with other doctors in the mental health field and providing support during the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Dr Ramjee. “Our other Kaizer Chiefs doctors are also much more involved in the medical ‘frontline’ work.”
The medical team is in regular contact with the Kaizer Chiefs players, technical staff and management through various platforms during the lockdown.
“The players and technical staff all provide us with daily feedback regarding symptom screening via WhatsApp. We connect individually via telephone if there are any individual aspects that we need to manage,” adds Ramjee, pointing at the work that the Amakhosi medical team is performing during the lockdown.
“We have also been monitoring our players’ psychological well-being during this challenging time,” he explains. “We join the weekly technical team online meetings. And as earlier mentioned, we connect with players daily via WhatsApp. One of the things that we do regularly is speaking to the players regarding medical care, when needed.
“The medical team (including physios), Sports Science department, technical team & Club management have been planning for various training scenarios for when we are permitted back to train at the Chiefs Village, including plans for ‘post-lockdown. We have also been involved in advising the Club regarding policies and protocols for everyone in the organisation.”
As an International football brand, keeping in touch with the developments abroad is a standard practice. “We have been closely monitoring the international football ‘landscape’ with regards to policies and plans that are being proposed and implemented insofar as the pandemic is concerned,” says Ramjee.
With some of the European leagues resuming with training and playing matches, Ramjee refers, “Regarding the European leagues, there the situation is different to ours in SA. They have potentially passed their peaks of infections and their rates of local transmission of Covid-19 is reducing. They are also going into their summer months and thus moving out of their flu season.”
The Kaizer Chiefs doctor notes the need for adequate resources to conquer the pandemic: “It is important to note that the European leagues have much more resources and testing capacity compared to South Africa. The initial lockdown levels have served their purpose to ‘flatten the curve’ and to prepare our medical system. However, as lockdown levels are reduced further, the COVID19 infection rates are expected to increase.”
Ramjee and the medical team advise and warn that “Public ‘self-governance’ will become very important going forward. What is important, is the understanding that reducing the lockdown levels do not imply that the virus is gone.
“To reduce the impact ,we must continue to practice adequate social distancing, regular hand and respiratory hygiene according to health guidelines, wear cloth face masks, if you feel sick, stay home and contact your doctor.
“At the moment, the people over the age of 60 and those with co-morbid medical conditions remain our priority and are urged to remain at home as much as possible”.
Dr. Hashendra Ramjee, also works closely with cricketers in the Cricket SA structures and does General Practitioner work at a hospital.