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Health Minster Dr. Zweli Mkhize Celebrates International Nurses Day

Article by: Natalie Müller

The health minister Zweli Mkhize is in KwaZulu-Natal at King Edward Hospital today, along with 9 other MECs of Health, celebrating International Nurses Day and all those working in the frontlines especially now during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Zweli Mkhize said they are joined today to celebrate the men and women in the frontline who are the face of the healthcare system and also marks the birthdate of Florence Nightingale 

In South Africa we also remember our pioneer cecelia Makiwane who became the first black woman in the African continent to be registered as a nurse. She is remembered for her commitment and unwavering spirit in the nursing field said Mkhize. 

Mkhize said, as a department they see the importance of strengthening nursing education, training and practice as one of their stretching objectives, saying the war against the Covid-19 has cost the department the lives of health workers and would like to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives and praying that their souls Rest In Peace. 

Mkhize also mentioned that today marks the 200th birthday celebration of Florence Nightingale. 

The plan for 2020 is to improve the public’s understanding of the contributions nurses and midwives make in the society they live in. We will listen as nurses tell us their stories under the theme nursing the world to health said Mkhize. 

The celebration is held via live broadcast across all 9 provinces, where messages of appreciation, encouragement and pride in the nurses, were relayed by many leaders in the health industry, across the nation. 

The event in opening was led by KwaZulu-Natal MEC of Health Nomagugu Simelane Zulu, who ushered in the proceedings of the celebration. 

Simelane – Zulu then called on to Health Minister to ignite all the lamps, as a national celebration ritual, along with all the MECs in all the provinces as a beam of hope. 

Many saluted nurses for the courageous and dedicated efforts in the workplace and for standing firmly in their pledge for service delivery. 

The nurses are the ones that will be the first contact with patients, working longer shifts and experiencing people both at birth and death. 

The day will be led by reciting the nurses pledge. KZN health Minister simelane -zulu said the intention of this day from inception, was to give nurses an opportunity to tell their stories to their communities. She said rather than the nurses telling their stories this year, the health minister has decided to do it differently based on the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

We are thus all called on to play our part in protecting our nurses and healthcare workers. This International Nurses Day, it is the best way we can thank them for all that they are giving up for us said Dr Zweli Mkhize in a statement on Twitter. 

Mkhize also went on to urge that as we celebrate International Nurses Day, let us remember those nurses who put their lives on the line every day to fight COVID-19 and the nurses who put our safety before their family’s.

Mkhize said he would also like to commend the National Command Council led by President Cyril Ramaphosa for the strategic work put into place to fight against this pandemic. 

Health Minister said that as a department they are resolute in ensuring that all our health workers are in access of all appropriate health care equipment and all tools of trade, reaffirming that no nurses will be allowed to care for patients without the necessary protective gear.

Mkhize said to nurses; “Thank you for all that you do on a daily basis as it take courage to be a nurse” he went to quote the words of Mary Anne Radmacher  

“courage does not always roar , sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day, that says I will try again tomorrow”. 

Thanking and saluting all the nurses as frontline workers and encouraging them to continue to be dedicated w their work and fighting tirelessly against the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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