Friday, 06 March 2020
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) would like to state the obvious, which is not going to change – that COVID-19 is on South African shores – and we commend our healthcare professionals for the sterling work they continue to do on the frontline where they do screenings to people coming into the country and those who are caring for the first patient in the country in KwaZulu-Natal.
But below are the things that the nation needs to focus on and address urgently before the virus spreads out uncontrollably:
Be aware of the symptoms:
If anyone notices any of these symptoms in their health:
- Sore throat
- Head ache
They must immediately stay at home and avoid close contact with other people; and contact the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) hotline number (0800 029 999).
Those who don’t have these symptoms, must do the following:
- Regularly wash your hands with hand soap or use hand sanitizer because COVID-19 infection starts from your hands to your face (hands’ contact with mouth, nose and eyes);
- Avoid rubbing your face with your hands;
- Avoid hand-shakes and hugs;
- Avoid close contact with people, especially those who are coughing (maintain at least a one-metre distance from those who are coughing);
- If you are coughing, please ensure you put on a mask, or at least adopt a good coughing etiquette like using your shirt or coughing inside your elbow.
- Keep surfaces like tables, phones, keyboards, mugs, and notebooks sanitized or disinfected regularly.
This is because when you have COVID-19, you cough and release droplets of infected fluids on surfaces which need to be cleaned and disinfected all the time.
Now that COVID-19, as a nurses association, we urge that people in our societies should avoid hugely populated areas where they are likely to be in close contact with many people:
DENOSA would like government to ensure the following are provided to healthcare workers
While we are proud of the work of our nurses, we would like to urge government to ensure that health workers have all the necessary and sufficient protective clothing gear while doing their work. This is because many health professionals often get compromised and get infected due to shortage of protective gear, like masks, when dealing with patients with infectious diseases like TB. Many nurses get infected with TB, for example, due to shortage of protective gear.
Furthermore, DENOSA pleads with government to ensure that protection is also extended to health workers in clinics, where people may present themselves with the signs. Many facilities often run out of necessary and basic toiletries. We call on managers of clinics and those responsible for procurement of goods and medicals in facilities to up their socks for we cannot afford to let the colleagues who do the work down.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)
For more information, contact:
Cassim Lekhoathi, DENOSA Acting General Secretary
Cell: 082 328 9671
Simon Hlungwani, DENOSA President
Cell: 082 328 9635
Facebook: DENOSA National Page