By Masilo Malakwane
DENNYSVILLE – The acting national commissioner of correctional services, Makgothi Thobakgale, paid tribute to professional nurses as they joined the rest of the world in celebrating International Nurses Day.
Addressing correctional services health workers at Groenpunt maximum facility recently, Thobakgale applauded them for their crucial role in the department, of ensuring that quality primary healthcare is rendered.
The day was marked under the theme: ‘A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health.’
Thobakgale said nurses play a pivotal role in protecting and caring for inmates. “We salute them for their endeavours in ensuring inmates’ health care needs are effectively and adequately addressed,” Thobakgale said.
In a bid to ensure a healthy working environment for nurses within correctional services, Thobakgale said the management of the department continues to worry about the environment that the nurses find themselves in.
“In some cases I myself had to think twice; we are a security environment that needs to be hygienically clean. As part of our regime, our correctional officers should always accompany our nurses whenever they are treating our inmates,” Thobakgale said.
The celebration became sombre when acting DC Health, Roeleen Booi, lit a candle and paid homage to 20 nurses who perished in line of duty in all the region’s facilities, saying they heeded the call to emulate Florence Nightingale and Cecilia Makiwane, who became the country’s first black registered nurse in 1908.
“We owe it to them for working tirelessly and expressing our greatness in the work that we do,” Booi said.
Denosa Free State Provincial chairperson, Thibogang Thole also attended the event. He said the government needs to implement the 2018 resolution that was taken by health care workers’ representatives.
“We also wish to encourage nurses to have an inspiring attitude towards their patients regardless of the challenges they faced. I appeal to the public to help us honor the nurses on this International Nurses Day, which coincides with the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.