NURSES DAY MESSAGE 2020
For Immediate Release
On this twelfth day of the Workers Month, BFTU continues to pay tribute and salute to yet another Profession of unsung heroes. The 12th May marks a special occasion for the celebration of health workers especially nurses and Mid –wives. This year the international nurses day also marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of legendary Nurse Florence Nightingale who is renowned for her work in advocating for nurses rights.
The theme for this year is” Nursing the World to Health” depicts the mammoth task that nurses and health workers are given this year, during the 12 months that have been recognized and dedicated to the health workers. The Covid-19 Pandemic has affected the health of millions of people across the globe ad livelihoods of billions have been affected as well.
Our nurses as frontline workers have tackled this pandemic head on and risk their lives daily to save lives and protect the world’s population.
In Botswana, there has been an outcry of low numbers of nurses in hospitals, clinics and health posts. The recognition and appreciation of nurses in terms of allowances and financial resources has been lagging behind. Worst still, provision of much needed resources to fight the pandemic has also been a widely talked about challenge.
BFTU urges the Botswana Government to ensure protection of nurses, doctors and other health workers by provision of adequate, constant personal protective equipment and promotion of high standards of occupational safety and health in clinics and hospitals. We do not want to see an increase of COVID 19 infections of nurses and health workers as a result of substandard OSH measures.
These must not only be promoted in government establishments but there must be regulations that also compel private clinics and hospitals to do the same and labour inspections must be increased to monitor compliance of these workplaces to protect these frontline heroes.
The president of Botswana, Dr MEK Masisi, in his May Day speech highlighted the importance of the Implementation of the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) and the need for attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). We hope that these statements were not just words but call upon government to ensure that decent work for all is promoted.
Nurses, health workers and frontline workers must be insured and afforded mental health support given the toll put on them during this period and also kept informed with relevant information relating to their profession so that they could perform their role diligently and effectively.
We once more call on Government to ensure that nurses are given the financial support and other resources required to help respond to and control COVID-19 and future outbreaks. Botswana must invest more in the country’s health system going forward .
Nurses must be encouraged to continue doing their work knowing very well that All workers and Batswana are behind them.
Let us continue to adhere to the COVID -19 protocols to protect health workers, our families and communities.
Tia Mooki Tia.
BFTU SECRETARY GENERAL
12th May 2020