Tuesday is International Nurses Day and the world is honouring these women and men, many of whom who are on the frontline of the COVID-19 battle.
The importance of their contribution, while always critical, is more pronounced these days of course amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Howard Catton of the International Council of Nurses said health systems would be poorer if it wasn’t for the work of nurses: “We saw infection rates rise among health workers and tragically as well as losing patients. You saw some of your friends and colleagues die as well. For those we have lost, we will mourn them.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country owed its well-being to nurses and called on South Africans to give them the necessary gratitude and support.
He said the role played by the healthcare workers had taken exponential importance in the battle against COVID-19 in the country.
Meanwhile, some practicing in the sector said they were proud to be on the frontlines in the fight against the pandemic.
Paulina Manyokolo, a nurse at the Sebokeng Clinic, south of Joburg, said Tuesday served as a reminder of why she joined the profession.
“To me, it means how a nurse should react to the community. You must be humble and must be understanding.”
Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla and Gauteng MEC Bandile Masuku are now addressing nurses and community health care workers at the Sebokeng Zone 17 Clinic.
The World Health Organisation has also declared 2020 the year of the nurse.
WATCH: As we celebrate International Nurses Day, let us remember our nurses