The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Mpumalanga held its Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting at Nutting House Hotel in Nelspruit from 26 to 27 September where issues on health in general and nursing, in particular, were top of the agenda.
The PEC received concerning reports from its regions about the deteriorating state of affairs around key the areas of nursing leadership, shortage of resources, safety or workers and patients, as well as staffing in health facilities throughout the province and the negative impact such is having on the delivery of healthcare services to communities.
The PEC has noted with great concern the escalating levels of violence and killings directed at women in the country at the hands of men, and has called on all its regions to involve themselves in community programmes and campaigns that call for an end to Gender-Based violence.
This scourge of violence has not sparred government facilities, and the victimization and killing of the young Uyinene Mrwetyana inside Post Office in Cape Town, a government entity, has been the clearest of many indicators of poor safety measures in government facilities.
The PEC has welcomed the release of the NHI Bill, which gives a clear indicator of how the National Health Insurance will come about.
On the governance of the NHI Fund, which will oil the functioning of NHI in the country, the PEC is concerned that, out of nine structures that will oversee and determine the functioning of NHI, only one advisory committee has a representation from the trade union front. Civil society is not well-represented too. This is a skewed injustice that must be corrected before it becomes too late and the Minister of Health must see the unfairness of this current setting.
The PEC appeals to leadership of health in the province to ensure that areas of deficiencies in our facilities today, as well as red areas that were unearthed by the report on NHI pilot districts, are corrected so that all communities could stand to benefit from the NHI out of the province’s public facilities.
ON NURSING LEADERSHIP IN THE PROVINCE
The PEC discussed at length the poor structural make-up of nursing leadership in the province and how this is leading to many deficiencies in healthcare service as every region presented its cases of inadequacies in the facilities.
Structurally, the province has not aligned the nursing directorate properly so that there is a fully-staffes Nursing Directorate headed by the Chief Nursing Officer in the province who will be accountable for nursing research, training and practice.
Currently, you have nursing, which is a core function in the delivery of healthcare service, reporting to a support function like HR.
As a result there are poor continuous professional development opportunities for practicing nurses and nurse managers, resulting in poor and unsupported nursing leadership at facility levels. This, in turn, leads to unspotted red areas in nursing care.
DENOSA calls the appointment of a Chief Nursing Officer in the province so that the nursing service could have a leader and an accounting officer who will pave the vision and continuous improvement of the nursing service with enough authority.
ON POOR SAFETY AND SECURITY IN FACILITIES
The PEC noted that many health institutions are still experiencing the harshness of this increasing violence due to poor security. Recently, health workers at Kwamhlanga Hospital had to deal with a patient who entered the facility with a gun that he was wagging at staff members from reception, nurses, doctors to pharmacists; and night duty nurses at Kwaggafontein CHC have been harassed by drunken community members who bullied them and distracted them from performing their work and thus compromising many patients who need urgent medical attention.
PEC calls on government in the province to rethink and reapply the safety and security settings in all its health facilities so that situations like maternity unit at Witbank Hospital, where there is no security, do not exist.
ON POOR STAFFING AT FACILITIES
The PEC received very concerning reports from its regions about the gross shortage of key staff across many health facilities in the province, which compromises the quality of healthcare services to communities of Mpumalanga.
DENOSA has learnt that Emerlo Regional Hospital, which services communities in Gert Sibande District, does not have area managers for its sections of the facility.
At Nkangala District, some facilities do not have Operational Managers for Casualty and Maternity sections, which are critical sections that cannot afford not to have such if they care about rendering adequate service to patients. In other facilities, community service nurses are made to perform the work of Operational Managers.
ON SHORTAGE OF RESOURCES
The PEC noted the continuous shortage of resources in various facilities. The shortage of ambulances, together with ambulance drivers with advanced courses in the province is a matter that stands in the way of a patient receiving life-saving care or being deprived of such.
DENOSA has learnt from its sister union for ambulance workers at Cosatu, SAEPU, that there is a severe shortage of drivers with enough qualifications to assist critical patients during emergencies and that, at some point, there was only one such a driver with advanced life support course in the entire province.
Many ambulance drivers risk having their licences being taken away from them by their regulatory body, HPCSA, for performing outside their scope of practice if they attend to patients that are too critical that their training allowed them to take care of.
DENOSA calls for speedy turn-around in the repairing of vehicles for the department, because many ambulances and staff vehicles are stuck in the workshop for longer periods. This prevents both ambulance drivers and nurses from doing their work, especially outreach work in the case of nurses where they go to communities to assist with illness prevention programmes.
DOING AWAY WITH NON-NURSING DUTIES
DENOSA is pleased that Nurse Managers and CEOs of facilities have found common ground on the career risk of performing non-nursing duties by nurses and on the need to stop this norm by hiring the needed clerks, cleaners, porters and pharmacists.
DENOSA is busy monitoring compliance of facilities with this unacceptable tendency.
ON THE AWARDING OF THE MARILYN LAHANA CARING AWARD TO THE MOST CARING NURSE IN THE PROVINCE FOR 2019
The PEC attended the annual Marilyn Lahana Caring Awards gala dinner on 25 September at Nutting House Hotel in Nelspruit, where the Most Caring Nurse for Mpumalanga for 2019 was announced.
DENOSA Mpumalanga congratulates the overall winner, 28-year-old Boitumelo Maila-Mogane, a 4th year student nurse at Mpumalanga Nursing College for winning the award for her sterling work to the community, whose impact is larger than life.
This was history in the making and sends a strong message to all those in the nursing profession that anyone can make a positive on communities from wherever they are.
DENOSA encourages all nurses in the province to nominate nurses who stand out from the rest for their work of selflessness and total nursing care to communities they serve for this award next.
She wi represent the province at this year’s finals which will be held in Pretoria later in the year. DENOSA wishes her all the best for the finals.
Her profile is below:
The overall winner of the Marilyn Lahana Caring Award for 2019 in Mpumalanga is Boitumelo Maila Mogane (middle), a 28-year-old 4th year student nurse at Mpumalanga College of Nursing
She runs and has spearheaded the setting up of self-sustaining multiple community projects that fight mental illnesses such as depression and other challenges.
Married to Chief Mogane, she is the founder of the First Lady Foundation which focuses on youth, women and community empowerment, development and career exhibitions in the deep rural areas of Mpumalanga.
She has introduced Princess Cups in three rural schools with the help of Mrs Sharmila and Caster Semenya.
She is the founder and patron of the Depressipn Awareness South Africa, where she raises issues around mental health.
She hosted her second annual depression awareness campaign in August 2019. She has launched a Men’s programme in 2019 called Amandla, Not In My Name to help deal with the exclusion of males in the country. It was founded to groom young boys.
She is the brand owner of ‘Womandla, We Are Here, We Multiply’, which are female t-shirts and hoodies that she sells, and the proceeds of which fund the projects.
She is a freelance writer for a local community newspaper in Granskop, where she writes motivational articles for youth and women.
She is the DENOSA Mpumalanga Student Movement Provinvial Secretary and Academic Officer of the Current SRC at Mpumalanga College of Nursing.
She is a nominee for Woman of Statue Award 2019 in South Africa, under the category of Women in Health.
As the overall provincial winner, she took home a trophy, a certificate, a prize money of R5000.00 and lots of goodies. She will represent Mpumalanga at the national Marilyn Lahana Caring Award, to be held later this year in Pretoria.
The first runner-up is Zandile Mhlongo (left), who works at Nkomazi Sub District. She took home a trophy, a certificate, a prize money of R3000 and lots of goodies.
The 2nd runner-up is Cinderella Mhlanga from Phola Nsikazi Community Health Centre, bagged a prize money of R2000, a trophy, a certificate and goodies.
Issued by DENOSA in Mpumalanga
For more information, contact:
Mzwandile Shongwe, DENOSA Mpumalanga Provincial Secretary Mobile: 0725640136