Nurses Day marks ten years of Millennium Development Goals

2011-05-12 00:00

INTERNATIONAL Nurses Day today should remind nurses in KwaZulu-Natal of their commitment to serve people with dignity and respect, said provincial health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo on Monday.

The event coincide with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the first nurse in the world, and comes a decade after governments adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Dhlomo said although there were major achievements in the realisation of the MDGs, there are still major gaps in the health-related goals.

“Nurses are the solid rock on which any progress in achieving our health related MDG commitments will be made. They are a foundation to ensure that no woman dies giving life. It is with committed nurses, supported by communities and a people-centred health system that we will ensure that every child reaches the age of five years healthy and well developed,” said Dhlomo.

He said access to health services is the key, but this was also limited by cost, by attitudes and/or practices that make a service unsuitable, by poor quality, or simply by lack of availability of qualified personnel.

“As nurses commemorate this important day they will recite the nurses’ pledge that ‘the total health of my patients will be my first consideration’,” he said.

The department has intensified efforts to uplift the quality of service by increasing the number of nursing personnel.

In 2010, 1 319 nurses completed their basic nurse training in professional nursing, enrolled and auxiliary nursing in KZN.

Currently the department is recruiting a further 2 000 student nurses to be trained to serve their own communities.

The department spends around R100 000 per student per year for those doing specialised training.

Nurses in various hospitals have vowed to regain public confidence and change how public health facilities are perceived.

Northdale Hospital nurses yesterday agreed that despite the ever increasing workload due to the disease burden, they would pledge continually to ensure quality nursing care and remain dedicated to serve the community with enthusiasm, hope and commitment to achieve the objectives of the department.

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