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DENOSA in Dora Nginza Region calls for Health Department to hire forensic nurses in Community Health Centres 

Media statement 

Thursday, 06 October 2022 

GQEBERHA – Following the latest incident where a 15-year-old victim of abduction and rape in Motherwell had to be sent to South African Police Service (SAPS) where further assessment and management of her injuries were to be carried out forensically as well as the rise of gender-based violence (GBV) in the Nelson Mandela Metro, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Dora Nginza Region (which includes Gqeberha) calls on the Department of Health in the district to deploy forensic nurses in all community healthcare centres (CHCs) which are the first points of contact for victims. 

Deploying forensic nurses to the community healthcare centres will also restore the dignity of victims of GBV and shorten the agony that victims have to go through because of the healthcare system design that sends a victim from pillar to post. 

If this were to be done, when a GBV victims are presented to the CHC, they will be cared for by nursing staff who will treat them and manage the condition of the patients accordingly and within their scope of practice and then refer the patients to the forensic nurses in the same facility who will conduct a higher level of care that will also collect evidence of violence from the victim, which in the end will be presented to the court of law for a possible successful conviction of the perpetrators. 

Currently, forensic nurses are based at the Thuthuzela Care Centres under the SAPS. The proliferation of gender-based violence incidents in our communities, which give rise to countless victims, calls for a paradigm shift in our programmes designs as healthcare providers under the Department of Health. Essentially, this will be equal to bringing all the necessary and related items under one isle as is often the case in a retail shop setting. The absence of forensic nurses in community healthcare centres is likely to give rise to community unhappiness in the way patients are treated and loss of dignity and respect for victims of gender-based violence. 

From DENOSA’s engagement with stakeholders of Motherwell as a result of this incident, there is a greater need to explain how the current referral system of our healthcare services works so that emotions and anger are limited. 

DENOSA also hopes that the outcomes of the forensic investigation will lower the community anger over this issue towards nurses, and that in the end nurses are able to go back to the clinics without any threat of violence on them. 

DENOSA also calls on the Department of Health in the province to stop selling nurses for publicity purposes when they know they should have done better to tighten security measures inside healthcare facilities especially those where threats to staff are evident. The nursing regulatory authority, South African 

Nursing Council (SANC), must recognize forensic nurses as a specialist nurse so that they are remunerated accordingly. 


Issued by DENOSA in Dora Nginza Region. 

For more information, contact: 

Vuyo Nodlamu, DENOSA Chairperson in Dora Nginza Region. 

Mobile: 072 495 1863

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