On the day after witnessing the R1m worth donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from Sibanye Stillwater and Old Mutual, DENOSA was shocked and disgusted to learn that one of its members at Promosa Community Health Centre (CHC) in Potchefstroom has tested positive for COVID-19 despite endless promises from both Minister and MEC of health that there are PPE for frontline health workers who care for patients and communities.
The Department of health is simply failing its health workers by not making sure that they are protected and taken care of despite their lip service of acknowledging and praising essential services that are dedicating and committing their lives to serve this country and its people.
“DENOSA North West is angered by the managers who cannot follow protocols prescribed by themselves that led to our members suffering from consequences that are not of their own making,” says DENOSA North West Acting Provincial Secretary, Kedibone Mdolo.
“As an organisation, we’ve been complaining about the lack of PPE in clinics and other health institutions and were seen as if we are talking out of tune and that we were just petty. The nurses now are being quarantined and isolated due to an uncaring employer.”
As DENOSA in the province, we have reached a point where were are going to withdraw our nurses out of the health institutions due to safety concerns, starting with Promosa CHC.
This member commenced showing symptoms of COVID -19 on the 18th of April 2020. She consulted and was tested. She was instructed to stay at home for six days while awaiting COVID-19 test results, which according to the guidelines was out of order for a doctor to give the nurse 6 days off sick. The nurse was recalled to work by her manager despite that the results were still outstanding. This member was retested on the 05th of May 2020, and the test results came back positive while the first results are still pending until this day.
The sub-district management has been reporting that there is enough PPE for all clinics, whereas their report contradicts what is on the ground. The workers at Promosa CHC have been struggling with PPE whereby staff at night were given one (1) surgical mask, one (1) plastic apron and two (2) pairs of gloves for seven (7) days of night shift!
From today, DENOSA hereby withdraws its members from the institution until PPE is provided.
In the meantime, DENOSA demands that:
1. The clinic be closed with immediate effect
2. All workers to be quarantined for 14 days as per the directive and that all those who do not meet the criteria of self-quarantine be relocated to identified official quarantine places
3. Subdistrict management to give a weekly report on the status of the availability of PPE in all facilities.
4. To make sure that all workers are tested as needed and screened daily before and after shifts.
“We cannot compromise any further the lives of our members. So, by this action, we are sending a strong message to the MEC of Health that if the situation continues like this, all DENOSA members’ labour is going to be withdrawn due to the managers who are not having the best interest of the nurses at heart. And this is not a threat anymore.”
Issued by DENOSA in North West
For more information, contact:
Kedibone Mdolo, Acting Provincial Secretary
Cell: 072 585 6847 or 082 552 6665 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org