Southern African Network of Nurses and Midwives (SANNAM) two-day annual meeting on its last day at DENOSA Head Offices in Pretoria.
COSATU Secretary on International Relations, cde Bongani Masuku, has just addressed the meeting, calling on the network to come up with solution to the TB that continues to eat away many people in the SADC region.
He has urged the Network and member countries to think deeply about the 4th Industrial Revolution as it changes the face of organising. "We must do the trade union work but in a different context. Not because we are no longer able to recruit but because there are no longer workers in some sectors. Industries are shedding jobs drastically due to mechanisation. One machine does the work of four other workers," he said.
As South Africa takes over the chairpersonship of SADC from Swaziland, Masuku said: "We expect DENOSA to champion and give insight on health issues that SADC need to tackle, and provide solutions to those. It's solutions must be research-based, because if they are not they will merely be like anything that can be said by any other person."
He pointed the need for African countries to preserve and make use of African indigenous knowledge for the benefit of African people, even on health issues, just like China and other countries do so that people don't rely on medication from pharmaceuticals all the time. "Pharmaceutical industry is interested in profit."
He warned about the developing trend whereby multinationals are increasingly taking all the trees in Africa and patenting them.
He said organisations organising health professionals must champion the call for promotion of healthy living among citizens to support their longevity and thus productivity. "We have lost many comrades to illnesses that they shouldn't have died from. The reality is that Africans are dying like flies."
Something is not tallying in Africa. Despite its wealth of mineral resources in countries like the DRC you still have people there being the poorest. We have open land and yet African people still die of hunger."
The Network discussions centred around sustainability of the network as well as the election of the new leadership for the new term.