Statement by the MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, on the impact of TB on Health Care workers

The month of March being our TB focus month, I felt there is no better way of understanding the impact and devastation that TB causes to families then to spend time with Dr Nareesa Pather’s family.
The story of Dr Pather has been an eye opener for me and the department. A young woman, full of passion to serve the people is now in need of care that she was called to. Her patients came first. She was willing to sacrifice her own well-being for the sake of her patients.
A health care facility is a workplace as well as a place for receiving and giving care. Health care facilities employ thousands of workers who are exposed to a complex variety of health and safety hazards everyday including:

I also came to a colleague, a fellow clinician, to extend my sincere compassion and reassure her family of our full support from now on. I also wish to extend the same to all other workers in similar situations whom I would have loved to visit individually but cannot due to other pressing engagements, but they too have our full support. I have now a clear understanding of the pain and suffering that our staff and their families go through. Dr Pather’s family has endured enough in the eight years of her suffering.
Unsafe working conditions contribute to health worker attrition due to work-related illness and injury and the resulting fear of health workers of occupational infection, including from HIV and Tuberculosis.
Certain administrative glitches have occurred and I called the CEO of King Edward VIII Hospital to activate certain processes that should have happened a long time ago.
I will ask the Head of Department to; (i) provide me with details of the number of people affected, (ii) develop programmes for health worker occupational health and (iii) for the Department to develop a campaign for immunizing health workers against hepatitis B and other occupational diseases.
I thank you
CHRIS MAXON : 0832850567



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