As North West reported its first case of a doctor at Lifecare Group Hospital in Klerksdorp, DENOSA North West would like to reiterate the importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for every health care worker coming into contact with patients in all health establishments and screening and testing of health care workers as a baseline data for them to work knowing that they are not endangered.
This case come a week after the province had launched a mass screening and testing campaign in all the four districts which was led by the Health MEC, Madoda Sambatha and the Premier of the province, Prof Job Mokgoro who is the Provincial Command Team. And so far the province has reported 22 COVID – 19 positive patients. There is anticipation that, the more people are screened and tested the larger the number of cases will be detected; and that will put workload and pressure to the health care system. More health care workers will be needed to deal with the scourge of the disease.
The provision of Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) for the staff in and by the Department becomes a priority. This pandemic will only be won if the health care providers are healthy and protected at all times as they are the frontline of the health system. Training and information sharing is key to health care workers on new disease profile, specifically the COVID – 19.
DENOSA calls for the robust and adequate provision of the PPE across all sectors – private and public. We believe that now is the time when domestic production of these products is very crucial.
We call for the employer to fast-track the recruitment of health care professionals to enhance capacity within the province. Aggressive screening and testing of both healthcare workers and communities must be accelerated. Provision of risk allowances, temporary accommodation and transport for all essential service workers who care and manage the COVID -19 patients should be some of the measures put in place.
DENOSA also want to caution and call upon the private sector to be party to taking care of their employees and adhere to all the protocols and guidelines as per the prescripts of the department as they are not an entity on their own with separate protocols, because they are part of the health system in the province, governed by the same authority as the public sector.
DENOSA calls upon its members to also responsible for their own wellbeing in a sense that they must not allow to be exposed to work without proper PPE in accordance with the provincial Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in their working stations on each level of care they are based on because PPE is a MUST. Simply put: No PPE, No service delivery.
DENOSA urges all nurses in the province to report to their shop stewards any deviation by managers in their health establishments regarding provision of PPE. This will ensure that they give dignified care and service to the community, protect themselves, their families and their communities at large.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)
For more information, contact:
Kedibone Mdolo, Acting Provincial Secretary
Cell: 072 585 6847 or 082 552 6665