TB staff complain over risks

2011-03-24 00:00

HEALTHCARE workers in the multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis centres (MDR-TB) of KwaZulu-Natal are complaining of a lack of incentives.

Among the issues raised by some healthcare workers at King George Hospital in Durban yesterday is the fear of becoming infected when the government is not offering them an adequate incentive for working in such risky conditions.

This emerged during a TB road show at the hospital held by the Department of Health yesterday.

The King George Hospital TB centre is the largest in the country.

Centre manager Nobathini Keswa said the infrastructure set-up is challenging.

“It’s a high risk considering the limited resources.

“Sometimes we run out of TB medication, but we have alternative treatment.

“The counselling and information we get is helping a lot.”

At the centre, multi-drug and extreme drug-resistant (XDR) patients are kept under the same roof.

Keswa said this calls for employees at the centre to be extra careful and to treat patients with extra care.

The director of TB and HIV in the national Department of Health, Dr Norbert Ndjeka, said the issue of incentive for healthcare workers in MDR/XDR centres was discussed in 2007 in Pretoria, but no action was taken.

“Medical staff working in these centres face a danger of getting infected, hence their reluctance to come and work in these centres. At some stage a concern was raised by employees in these centres to get a danger allowance incentive because of the risk.”

“Healthcare workers in the country are six times more likely to get TB than the general public. However, we need to understand that TB is everywhere.

“An important point to make is that giving them the allowance will make it easier for the department to recruit for the centre,” Ndjeka added.

Working conditions need to be improved for both patients and healthcare workers, he declared, adding that MDR/XDR centres are run by the public sector and all the weaknesses in the sector are likely to appear in these centres.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.