Maseru – The International Council of Nurses (ICN), has expressed deep concerns about the stalemate between nurses and the management at the Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital.
In letter addressed to Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro, ICN warns the country risks depriving the innocent public access to health care.
ICN is a federation of more than 130 national nurses’ association (NNAs) which represents over 27 million nurses worldwide. It seeks to ensure quality nursing care for all, sound health policies globally, and worldwide respect for the nursing profession while ensuring a competent and satisfied nursing workforce.
The council is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
According to the statement, nurses at Ts’epong have faced numerous challenges in performing their duties during the current pandemic.
The Covid-19 situation has had unfavorable impacts on the physical and mental health of the nurses, ICN states, adding that if the treatment of this nature persists, Basotho risks losing access to health care.
Since nurses and nursing assistants constitute about 70 percent of the countries health workers, ICN stressed nurses are the backbone of the health system and their work is essential in public health, particularly in tackling non-communicable diseases and other infectious diseases.
“Nurses are needed now more than ever to contribute to the Covid-19 response, the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccines and other recoveries from the pandemic,” the statement read.
ICN called for a mutually agreeable solution to the current situation through dialogue and if necessary through conciliation and arbitration.
“I know that the leaders of LNA, who speak on behalf of Lesotho’s nurses are committed to finding a mutually agreeable solution,” said Howard Catton, Chief Executive Officer of ICN in the statement.
“I would therefore respectfully request that you and your Government do everything that you can do to resolve the current situation and find a resolution that both respects and recognises the rights, safety and value of your nursing workforce, and ensure the provision of safe, high quality and accessible healthcare for the people of Lesotho,” Catton said.