The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in KwaZulu-Natal is disappointed by the DOH poor response to the second wave of COVID-19 in the province.
The Department has been waiting for the second wave and reassuring the public that they are ready, only to discover during the resurgence that they are not ready.
DENOSA KwaZulu-Natal requested a resurgence plan and a meeting to discuss and give inputs on that plan before the resurgence.
To date, DENOSA has not received that plan, which we believe it is irresponsible of the Department not to have a plan for such fatal wave and we condemn it vehemently.
DENOSA visited different institutions to investigate the severity of problems that were reported by our members who are nurses in facilities.
During this visit, DENOSA noted a number of challenges which included, amongst other:
Gross shortage of staff due to infections and deaths due to COVID19;
Inadequate and poor PPE;
Lack of psychological support to staff; and
Forcing staff to sign their normal sick leave for COVID-19, which is against the DPSA circular 7 of 2020.
Based on its visits, DENOSA drafted a plan to be shared with the Department.
This plan has recommendations to assist its members in dealing with the second wave.
DENOSA made the following recommendations:
*1. Urgent filling of all vacant posts caused by deaths due to COVID19 and other diseases before the end of March 2021 while the posts are still funded as well as establishment of a relief pool of staff in all districts to assist when nurses go for isolation and or quarantine.
*2. Urgent employment of Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) staff in all institutions to provide psychological support to staff.
*3. Call on the department to issue full PPE to all staff irrespective of whether they are in a COVID ward or not to minimise transmissions.
*4. Urgently implement national guidelines on vulnerable employees by ensuring that all institutions have functional Institutional Risk Assessment Committees (IRAC) to ensure that guidelines are implemented in terms of vulnerable employees.
*5. Re-furbish all staff tea-rooms to allow for social distancing to minimise cross infection.
*6. Department to withdraw HRM circular 41 of 2020 on COVID leave to allow staff to get special leave for COVID 19 as per DPSA circular 7 of 2020*
DENOSA is of the view that if the Department can implement all these recommendations they can be able to deal with this pandemic successfully and be able to save lives.
DENOSA noted that there are institutions that force members to re-use masks. Therefore, we would like to inform our members to refuse that irresponsible and illegal order and urge them to report to the shopstewards so that DENOSA can deal with those managers.
Lastly all members of Denosa are advised not to start work if there is no PPE or staff to assist them.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in KwaZulu-Natal
For enquiries, contact:
Mandla Shabangu, Provincial Secretary Mobile: 071 643 3369