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Tsebo Cleaner, working on the healthcare frontline during COVID-19, interviewed by the Paarl Post

Paarl Post interviewed Nadia Jacobs (41), a cleaner from Tsebo Cleaning and Hygiene Solutions, who performs this essential service in a hospital in Paarl. Paarl Post is a bilingual weekly community newspaper published every Thursday in the Paarl region of the Western Cape, South Africa.

Providing a cleaning service during the Covid-19 pandemic can undoubtedly be daunting – especially when you have to perform this service in a Hospital.

Nadia, who resides in Paarl, says she has been working as a cleaner for ten years and it is important for her to make sure that she always does her job right and to the best of her ability.

According to Nadia, the breadwinner for a household of six people, her family is sometimes worried because she is working on the frontline in a hospital during the pandemic. She however reassures them that she is well trained to follow the Covid-19 precautionary measures and wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce her risk.

“Because we work in a hospital environment, we are trained and accustomed to following the highest hygienic and safety standards. But, yes, Covid-19 has certainly reiterated the importance of strict hygiene measures. I rigorously follow all the Covid-19 preventative measures, including social distancing, regular sanitation of my hands, wearing my face mask and other PPE.”

She also says the pressure can sometimes feel overwhelming when she realizes how important a clean environment is for a patient’s recovery process.

“On that note, we as a cleaning team try to build each other up in our morning meeting by doing a joint prayer and show appreciation and recognition for our joint contribution.”

Nadia says she also tries to protect herself from the virus by drinking her multi-vitamins every day. She tries to inhale steam regularly when she is home and consumes hot drinks on her breaks at work.

“I also wear my correct PPE in every area where I clean. I try to apply the same safety measures that I follow at work in my everyday life, even when I go out in public.”

According to Nadia, she deals with her fears about the virus by asking when she is unsure about something, and she doesn’t concern herself too much with everything circulated on social media.

About how she feels about the fact that her job and the service she provides contribute to the bigger picture of trying to protect people against Covid-19 and that she is also an essential worker, she says it makes her “feel very good and proud to be part of the solution”.

“I enjoy being able to communicate with different people and I am proud to be part of a very professional cleaning team,” she concludes.

Reference Article in Afrikaans:  https://www.netwerk24.com/ZA/Paarl-Post/Nuus/skoonmaker-is-trots-op-die-werk-20210120-2