T o Senior Nurse Annah Tselana, stationed at George Masebe Hospital, one of the biggest challenges she and her colleagues in the profession face is the fact that many people still consider traditional herbs more effective than modern medical treatment.
This, Tselane said, causes the death rate to increase rapidly every year. She explained that some people mix Western medicine and traditional herbs when trying to cure certain diseases thereby weakening the immune system. This and other health issues such as sexually transmitted diseases, she said could be addressed more effectively if the Department of Health conducted more awareness campaigns and workshops to educate people.
She spoke during an interview with Polokwane Observer at the International Nurses’ Day celebration held at Ngoako Ramatlhodi Indoor Sport Complex, Seshego on Friday.
This year’s International Nurses’ Day was celebrated under the theme ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ while last year’s celebration was guided by the theme ‘A force for change: Improving health systems’ resilience’.
The South African Special School Nurses’ Association President, Jeanette Gwangwa said the only challenge they are facing in the association at the moment is a lack of nurses in special schools around the country. She further said they need qualified nurses to help assist physically and mentally challenged children.
“The departments of Health and of Education do everything in their power to assist mentally and physically challenged children. We host many workshops to educate people on how to treat children with disability,” Gwangwa informed.
Nursing students from the University of Limpopo were also part of the celebrations and one of them, Mmakgomo Mankge explained that she chose nursing because she wanted to help people in her community. She further emphasised that a lot of young people study nursing because of financial constraints in their families but that she had chosen it because of the love and passion she has for people. She added that the field gave one an opportunity to connect with patients and learn new things.
Addressing the audience Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba said: “We are aware that in some instances there are human resource challenges which are temporary in nature. These must not deter us from caring for our people with love. Nurses have always been a force of change during times of war and will continue to be the backbone of our health system even during this peaceful time of our lives.
“We are concerned about the attitude of nurses which contribute vastly to litigation instituted against the department. This kind of platform should be used to recommit yourself, motivate and also to assess what you have done in the previous year.” She concluded that nurses need to have love for their patients and considering that patients as human beings need to be appreciated in order to allow the healing process to move faster.
Story & photos: ENDY SENYATSI