Tuberculosis (TB)

Call to save nurses from contracting TB

The Democratic Nurses’€™ Union of South Africa (DENOSA) is calling upon the Health Department, to strengthen safety measures to protect nurses from the highly infectious Multi-Drug and Extremely-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis

The audio is in isiZulu. See english summary below.

MABUTHO: Usekelamongameli wenyunyana yabasebenzi bezempilo iDemocratic Nurses’€™ Union of South Africa (DENOSA), uEthel Radebe uthi kumele kube khona ukusebenzisana phakathi kwezinyunyana zabasebenzi bezempilo kanye nohulumeni ukuqinisekisa ezokuphepha kwabasebenzi bezempilo abasebenza emagunjini anabantu abanesifo sofuba. Lesisitatimende se DENOSA sifika esikhathini lapho yanda imibiko yabezindaba ebika ngabahlengikazi abangenwa isifo sofuba ezibhedlela abasebenzai kuzona. URadebe uthi nakuba ezokuphepha zikhona kodwa azanele ngoba uma abahlengikazi besiza isiguli akekho osuke azi ukuthi sinesifo sofuba kuze kube kutholakala ngokuhamba kwesikhathi ngaphambi kokuthi isiguli siyiswe egumbini labanesifo sofuba.

ETHEL RADEBE: The challenge is that when a patient comes to the hospital, nobody knows whether its has got MDR (TB) until tests are done. And it can take time. And this is a time of high risk.

MABUTHO: Oka Radebe ukhala ngokuthi kuze kube manje uhulumeni uqhakambisa kakhulu ukuphathwa kanye namalungelo eziguli ukudlula ukuphathwa kanye nokuvikelwa kwabasebenzi bezempilo ikakhulukazi abahlengikazi abasebenzi emagunjini aneziguli ezinezifo ezithathelanayo. Uthi abakufunayo bona njengenyunyana yabasebenzi ukuthi babe ingxenye yezinqumo ezithathwayo futhi basebenzisane nohulumende ukuqinisekisa ukuphepha kwabasebenzi bezempilo.

ETHEL RADEBE: The protocols from national government of how to deal with patients are there. But what has not been put very openly is how to protect the worker who is a nurse. We want to be directly involved and interrogate the policy and see how best we and government can work together.

MABUTHO: Khonamanjalo oyinhloko emnyangweni wezempilo kuzwelonke emkhakheni ophathelene nesifo sofuba kanye negciwane lesandulelangculaza uDr Nomonde Xundu uthi nakuba evuma ukuthi isifo sofuba ikakhulukazi iXDR TB sithanda ukuba inkinga kodwa uthi zonke izifundazwe zaseSouth Africa zinazo izinhlelo zokuphepha kwabasebenzi bezempilo kwisifo sofuba esiyingozi.   Ngakolunye uohlangothi uSolwazi Bruce Margo oyinhloko yomnyango wezempilo ophikweni olubhekele isifo sofuba esifundazweni saKwaZulu-Natal nalapho isifo sofuba esiyingozi saqala ukutholakala khona, uyavuma ukuthi ukuqubuka kwalesisifo sofuba esiyingozi esifundazweni kudale ukuthi abanye abasebenzi bezempilo babe madolonzima ukuthi basebenze emagunjini aneziguli eziguliswa isifo sofuba ngenxa yakubize ngokuthi ukungaqondi ngalesisifo.

PROF BRUCE MARGO: Initially there has been a lot of fear, probably caused by misunderstanding regarding MDR and particularly the XDR (TB).

MABUTHO: Uthi kodwa kuningi okwenziwe ngumnyango esifundazweni ukuqinisekisa ukuphepha kwabasebenzi bezempilo abasebenza emagunjini aneziguli ezinesifo sofuba.

PROF BRUCE MARGO: There are measures and interventions that have been put in place. We’€™ve strengthened control infection practices and facilities across the province. All districts have been workshopped on basic base-line. Over and above that, masks are available for staff to use them.

MABUTHO: Okunye okuqaphelekayo ukuthi nakuba zikhona izinhlelo zokunxeshezelwa kwabasebenzi bezempilo abazitholayo uma bethola ukugula ngenxa yokusebenza emagunjini abantu abanesifo sofuba kepha kuthanda ukuthi kube into ethatha isikhathi eside ngenxa yemininingwane eminingi okumele igcwalise yilabo abafuna izinxephezelo.

PROF BRUCE MARGO: Compensation is quite a long process and a lot of paper work, but there is a process that’€™s in place where stuff can get compensation.

MABUTHO: Nakuba zingekho izibalo ezikhishwe ngokusemthethweni zabasebenzi bezempilo abangenwa isifo sofuba besemsebenzini kuleli, kepha iya ngokwanda imibiko ebika ngabahlengikazi abangenwa ilesisifo.

ENGLISH SUMMARY.

Call to save nurses from contracting TB

The Democratic Nurses’€™ Union of South Africa (DENOSA) is calling upon the Health Department, to strengthen safety measures to protect nurses from the highly infectious Multi-Drug and Extremely-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis.

The statement comes at time when there is an ongoing anxiety about the safety of nurses working in TB wards, following recent media reports about nurses who contract the TB bacteria  while at work.

The Deputy President of the Democratic Nurses’€™ Organization of South Africa (DENOSA), Ethel Radebe told Health-e that the current safety majors that are in place are not enough and that there is still  more that needs to be done to protect health staff, particularly nurses, from contracting the germ . She says ‘€œwhen patients come to hospital, nobody knows whether they do have MDR-TB until tests are done. And it can take time. Radebe is concerned that  ‘€œthis is a time of high risk’€.

She is accusing the government of not doing enough to ensure that health workers, particularly the nurses are take care of.   ‘€œThe protocols from national government of how to deal with patients are there. But what has not been put very openly is how to protect the worker who is a nurse. We want to be directly involved and to interrogate the policy and see how best we and government can work together,’€ she said.

Meanwhile, the head of the TB, STIs and HIV and AIDS  Cluster in the national Health Department, Dr Nomonde Xundu says although all provinces do have programmes to protect health workers from contracting the TB germ, it depends on ‘€œhow good the programme is’€. Xundu went on to say that the Department is ‘€œ strengthening the TB control programme’€, in the health care setting.

The TB manager in the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, Professor Bruce Margo says, ‘€œthere are measures and interventions that have been put in place to ensure the safety of health workers, particularly the nurses. ‘€œWe’€™ve strengthened control infection practices and facilities across the province. All districts have been workshopped on basic base-line. Over and above that masks are available for staff to use them,’€ he said.

He, however, does admit that the outbreak of both MDR and its cousin XDR TB, late last year, caused enormous fear among health workers in the province.

‘€œInitially there has been a lot of fear, probably caused by misunderstanding regarding MDR and, particularly, the XDR (TB). However, we have done a lot of work among staff – counselling,’€ said Margo.

There is compensation for health workers who contract TB while at work. But Prof Margo says the claiming process is ‘€œquite long’€ and involves ‘€œa lot of paper worker’€.

Although there are no official figures of health workers that have been infected with TB while at work, , there has been a number of reports about health workers contracting the germ  during work.

 

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