NURSES GIVE GOVT 21 DAYS TO SORT OUT DRUG CRISIS
Nurses have given government 21 days to sort out the drug shortage crisis that is crippling public health facilities in the country.
TheSwazilandNursesAssociation (SNA) delivered a petition to the ministry of health yesterday, demanding the ministry sort out two major issues affecting the nurses at Pigg’s Peak and Hlathikhulu Hospitals. The petition delivered to the ministry had about five demands.
The petition was received by the Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Health Dr Simon Zwane.
The meeting that lasted for about twohourswasheldatCooperCentre in the presence of the PS, police officers, SWADNU executive and other nurse’s representatives. In a written petition addressed to the PS, the nurses association clearly stated that at Pigg’s Peak Hospital,` there is a severe shortage of nurses and drugs.
Pigg’s Peak Hospital is a regional referral which services the entire northern part of the kingdom; therefore the hospital is expected to provide all health services as per the requirement by international standards.
“In some departments it has been months since drugs such as olanzapine, amongst other drugs have been supplied. The facility does not haveevenasingleanti-anxietydrug. Itisevenworsesincethereareclasses of drugs whereby there are no alternative drugs available which jeopardise the service rendered by the facility,” reads the petition.
Olanzapine is amongst the drugs reportedly out of stock at the hospital. Olanzapine is a drug used to treatschizophreniaandcertaintypes of bipolar disorders.
It’s also used in combination with an antidepressant to treat depression that can’t be controlled with other drugs.
The nurses also stated in the petition that they were short- staffed.
“The present nurses are now fatigued because they are expected to work four night shifts twice a month,” reads the petition. They said there was a desperate need for more nurses to ensure all patients are properly cared for and have proper medication.
In addition, the nurses said the ministry of health must sort the staffing issues which they said was very critical to them and the patients as well.
The nurses therefore demand the ministry to advocate for waiving of the recently amended circular which speaks to the creation and filling up of vacant posts.
“We also demand prioritisation of the Pigg’s Peak health facility. MOH in collaboration with the RegionalHealthManagementTeam andtheHospitalManagementreview the establishment register for Pigg’s Peak Government Hospital to improve the status of this institution into one that shall diligently serve the nation,” reads the petition. The ministry is required to also make sure that there is a consistent supply of drugs in the hospital and equipment.
21 DAYS: Swaziland Nurses Association (SNA) and SWADNU members on their way to the Cooper Centre building where they met Principal Secretary Dr Simon Zwane.