International Nurses' day: KZN Health MEC pays tribute to all nurse for their "Stellar" role in fightning COVID-19

Without the courage, generosity of spirit and never-say-die attitude of nurses, the Province of KwaZulu-Natal would not have managed to save as many lives as it did during the past two waves of COVID-19.

This is according to KZN Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane, who has paid tribute to all nurses in the length and breadth of the province as the world commemorates International Nurses Day today (12 May 2021).

This commemorative day is observed annually to coincide with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is considered the founder of modern nursing. This year's theme, as set by the International Council of Nurses, is: Nurses: A Voice to Lead - A vision for future healthcare.

Reflecting on the contribution of nurses during the pandemic, which she has described as "stellar", MEC Simelane said:

"At a time when we were being hit very hard by the pandemic, our nurses were on the frontlines. They have stood firm and got on with the job. We know how difficult it was for some of them have to come to work after having lost their colleagues; or while some of them had been infected with the virus."

"Indeed, these current generations of nurses will go down in history as our heroic cadre of healthcare professionals who were prepared to face anything, including dying with their boots on."

"We have previously urged nurses to emulate the spirit of uMam' Albertina Sisulu by being dedicated and loyal to the profession, and to the service of our people. COVID-19 has shown us that we do have those kinds of nurses. We appreciate them, and we dip our hats to the nurses who have actually done that."

"It's no child's play leaving your family every day and walking straight into a working environment that resembles a war zone; where you might get infected with the deadly COVID-19; and potentially come back and infect your own family."

"It is no child's play watching your own patients and colleagues die in large numbers from this new, incurable, and deadly disease."

"It's no child's play living with the anxiety that you might get back home and infect your own elderly parents and grandparents, or those whom we live with who have comorbidities, who are especially vulnerable to the virus, and might die from infection."

"It certainly can't be easy knowing that, in spite of taking precautions, you yourself might still get infected with COVID-19 and knowing that you might not survive."

"And yet, our nurses have done it. They've made a huge difference during these extraordinary and devastating times."

"So, at a time when the world is celebrating the nursing profession, it gives us, too, an opportunity to appreciate our nurses and say thank you."

"Thank you for waking up every day and braving the tough challenges that come with your job."

"Thank you for your selflessness"

"Thank you for risking it all, in service of your countrymen and women."

"We know you've given it your all, and we are deeply humbled and inspired by your courage, dedication and hard work," she said.

The MEC has also taken the time to remember the nurses who have sadly lost their lives due to COVID-19.

"To illustrate the point about how exposed our nurses are, since the pandemic started, at least 17 076 nurses have been infected with COVID-19; with 397 having sadly succumbed to the disease. May their souls rest in peace."

"We know that these deaths have left many families without breadwinners. Due to COVID-19, many children have been left without mothers and fathers; and communities and workplaces are today without their beloved and trusted pillars of support."

"Therefore, to all those who have lost their loved ones, we send our deepest condolences."

The MEC also thanked nurses and all other staff members for vaccinating 69 958 of their colleagues so far; and for recruiting the public to register for the next round of vaccinations.

"As we enter the second phase of vaccination, we appreciate the role that nurses are playing in encouraging those who are aged 60 and above, as well as those who are 18 years old and living with co-morbidities, to register so that they can be vaccinated."

"Our target for Phase 2 is to vaccinate at least 2,9 million people by October 2021, with Phase 3 expected to begin in November 2021."

"We have an army of 7 616 people who are trained to carry out these vaccinations, and we are confident that, with the requisite support and co-operation from the public, we can indeed accomplish these targets, and move closer towards achieving the 67% population immunity that we need."

The MEC also called on all of society to continue following the COVID-19 precautions and remain alive to the potential threat of a third wave of infections.

ENDS Issued by the KZN Department of Health

Quick Links

This page last edited on 12 May, 2021

The materials on this website may be copied for non-commercial use as long as our copyright notice and website address are included.

Copyright 2014 - All Rights Reserved - KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health

Disclaimer Website by KZN Department of Health