Thursday, 14 April 2022
DURBAN – As the province of KwaZulu-Natal is left to count the costs of the floods which affected thousands of people and damaged amenities, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in KwaZulu-Natal would like to call on the government to prioritize the clearing of routes to the many affected healthcare facilities as access to these by both patients and healthcare workers has become impossible.
While 253 people have been declared dead so far, hundreds more are in desperate need of emergency care which they are not able to access due to the damage to the roads caused by the floods. Equally, many nurses are not able to report for work or go home.
Most of the facilities which have been hit the hardest so far are in the eThekwini District, with some in the Ugu District and Umkhanyakude District also affected.
Nurses are particularly concerned with patients on chronic medication who could be in desperate need of their medication but won’t be able to access healthcare facilities.
Many Community Healthcare Centres (CHCs), those that are easily accessible, experienced high volumes of trauma cases and they experienced challenges with transferring patients due to unavailability of ambulances.
Other challenges, which caused disruptions to healthcare services as a result of the floods, include:
– Night nursing could not be relieved by the day shift staff due to damaged roads.
– Some facilities are assisted by nurses who stay in nurses homes.
– Some healthcare staff are not able to go to work due to no water and electricity.
– Some facilities have no water, due to water-shedding that is taking place.
– At Manguzi Hospital in Mkhanyakude District, park-home for managers is flooded with water (but there no reported injuries to staff).
While many people who are left destitute will be accommodated in many public amenities, DENOSA would like to point that many of them will need to be assisted with their medication which they may have lost to the floods so that they do no default on their treatment.
Issued by DENOSA in KwaZulu-Natal.
For more information, contact:
Mbali Sabela, DENOSA KZN Acting Provincial Secretary.
Sibonelo Cele, DENOSA KZN Provincial Chairperson.