ACCOUNTABILITY AT THE HEART OF TRUST
Article by Khanyi Moshia
The management at Addington Hospital is in hot water for allegedly hiding the correct information about the Coronoavirus infection rate, after Democratic Nursing Union of SA (Denosa) confirmed more nurses and a doctor had tested positive for the virus.
KwaZulu-Natal premier, Sihle Zikalala, has declared Durban the epicenter of the virus in the province where nearly 80 health workers and patients have tested positive for the disease at Netcare hospitals namely; St Augustine’s, Parklands and Kingsway.
Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA provincial secretary Mandla Shabangu said they were informed that there were cases of healthcare workers who tested positive for the virus, and were placed in isolation at the public facility.
“Addington Hospital seems to be the most infected public facility. The writing is on the wall but the management is trying hard not to create panic among the staff. We have since learnt that positive cases have been confirmed there and that all theatre users have been tested to establish how far the virus has spread, which we appreciate,” he said.
A concerned staff member whose results came back negative says they had approached DENOSA to seek clarity on the number of infections because there seemed to be a veil of secrecy around management providing accurate information regarding the number of infections.
The staff member mentions that while there were more than seven cases of infection, the emphasis was only placed on a single nurse who had openly revealed her status.
He also states that the management at the state facility for the treatment of patients with Covid-19 isn’t only hiding information regarding the number of confirmed infections from them, but they’re not given enough protective gear as they’re expected to wear one mask a day – which is a health hazard.
KZN Department of Health spokesperson, Ntokozo Maphisa says in cases where healthcare workers are infected, the government is obligated to provide the necessary care and treatment – which in this case, wasn’t done due to the lack of knowledge.
Maphisa also emphasizes the importance of mapping and tracing infected patients’ contacts so they, too, can be screened and tested in order to curb the spread of the virus.
“The affected section of the hospital may be closed, to allow for decontamination as part of the prevention of infection and control process,” Maphisa said.