NEHAWU Praises It's Members And Workers For Sterling Job On Fight Against COVID-19
Sunday March 29, 2020
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is elated by the good work by our members and workers in the healthcare sector during our collective fight against the spread of COVID-19.
Throughout the country our members and workers who are on the frontline of testing, quarantining and treating those have contracted the virus have been working tirelessly towards ending the spread of the virus. They go beyond the call of duty under adverse conditions which includes work over-load, exhaustion, limited public transport, inadequate training, intermittent supply of PPE’s and even life-threatening circumstances. However, workers continue to work tirelessly to stem the tide against COVID-19.
NEHAWU encourages all its members and workers in the healthcare sector to continue the fight and not tire until the battle against the corona virus is won. In this regard, we call on government to ensure the following to make the job of health workers easy:
- Ensure steady and sufficient supply of PPE’s and sanitisers even for healthcare workers who are not in the isolations wards including all nurses, doctors, cleaners, dispensary clerks, reception and porters
- Proper catering arrangements as some of the workers would be required to work overtime or even around the clock. The normal arrangement self-catering won’t work and arrangement for nutritious catering supply is very important
- Procurement of extra beds should more people require hospitalisations and engagements with hotel groups for space for quarantining
- Health workers must be given priority for flu vaccine as we have a shortage of flu vaccination in the country
- Immediate stocking up of ventilators and other therapeutic necessities under quarantine settings
- Provide protection and transport to our members and workers who are travelling to work during the lockdown especially those from townships and peri-urban areas
- Continuous training for workers in dealing with the virus
- The recent suspensions of health workers during this period must be withdrawn with immediate effect as we need each and every health worker in the country so as to all attend to this enemy which is coronavirus and COVID-19.
- The Minister must take full responsibility for the nerve centre that has been created for the fight against COVID-19. It must meet regularly so that it is not overtaken by events and MEC’s or HOD’s must partake so as to ensure the cascading down of information to provinces
We call on government to immediately stop subjecting workers to disciplinary hearings during this period as this dampens their spirits instead we encourage day to day training so that there are no skirmishes between management and workers in the workplaces.
Currently, eight of our members who work in EMS UMgungundlovu are charged for refusing to work without proper protective clothing and sanitisation of their work equipment. The national union will defend its members and workers and ensure that they do not get dejected while doing their work.
NEHAWU appeals to all our people especially those in townships and rural areas to observe the 21 days nationwide lockdown as announced on the President 23rd March 2020. The lockdown is meant to flatten the curve as a means to avoid a spike in cases in a short space of time. Our healthcare system is already struggling due to understaffing, short supplies of drugs, and dilapidating infrastructure.
We call on all our people to stay at home, wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds or use an alcohol based sanitisers. The issue of the Corona virus will require an active citizenry that will be able to follow all the precautions in order to avoid contracting it or spreading it.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969
Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500 visit: www.nehawu.org.za
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