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Nurses under siege by COVID-19

Jan. 7, 2021 2 min read

2 min read

MASERU - The Acting Director of the Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL), Libete Selapane says the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit too close to home as more than 50 health care workers have been infected to date.

Mr Selapane said at least 40 health professionals from their facilities have also been diagnosed with COVID-19. According to the President of the Lesotho Nurses Association’s (LNA) Raphael Tlali, this rings a louder bell in their ears because their mandate is to Care for carers to stand up and look for loose holes.

This, Mr Tlali said has mandated them to go back to the drawing board and reconsider the agreement the association signed earlier with the government in regards to the protection of nurses and assistant nurses on duty.

“The LNA is fully aware and concerned about the challenges that are being faced by its members on the field.“They are now forced to self isolate themselves at their respective homes, which puts their families at a huge risk of been infected by the COVID-19.

“Over and above, other nurses are based at high-risk areas but they have still not received their salaries for the past three months,” Mr Tlali further showed.

Owing to the above-mentioned concerns, he said the LNA feels bound to discuss such issues in the open so that the government could do its part and provide all essentials to the health personnel.

“We, therefore, urge the government to provide the necessary support to the nurses as this will help in reducing the skyrocketing numbers of infections and mortalities.

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“There are still inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for nurses on duty, there are some health facilities which still operate without electricity and water even though it has been recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that washing of hands is of vital importance during this period.

“Some nurses have still not been trained on Infection Prevention Control (IPC), which puts them at a great risk because they deal with contagious diseases,” he also said. He was quick to note that even the isolation facility in Mafetengalso encounters a wide range of challenges which hinder nurses from performing their expected duties.

The LNA, he said is concerned that nurses working in isolation are no longer placed in quarantine sites as was the initial practice to break the chain of infection. “The nurses need protection to help the nation which is also at a major risk of being devoured by this fatal virus,” he also said.

On another note, the LNA has urged Basotho to continue practising and promoting simple health protocols like wearing the facial mask, washing hands and avoid gatherings.

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