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City nurses leading the charge for a safer Cape Town

I had occasion today to express my appreciation to nine City Health staff members ahead of International Nurses Day tomorrow.

These leading lights have served the people of Cape Town and this administration for between 20 and 35 years, helping us to address some of the most pressing health challenges in our communities – in spite of some very trying circumstances.

The theme for International Nurses Day is: ‘Nurses: A voice to lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’. This is no easy feat, given the health burden in South Africa, particularly in our most vulnerable communities.

The nurses are the back-bone of health services in the City. City Health has helped lower the child mortality rate by driving life-saving interventions from birth through the First 1 000 Days Campaign. Cape Town has also achieved phenomenal success in improving the health status of our communities, such as combatting HIV and TB. Often we speak of these successes by highlighting the statistics. And while it is a useful tool, it doesn’t always reflect the hard work, dedication and perseverance of the staff members without whom our success would not be possible.

Just recently we highlighted that Cape Town is experiencing one of the mildest diarrhoea seasons in years – a disease that is responsible for far too many child deaths in developing countries. We rely heavily on our nursing staff to manage what is known as diarrhoea season and the improved results over the last few years is testament to their efforts. (More information on diarrhoea season and the recent management of the measles outbreak is available here:

It is a fact that many of our clinic staff work under very trying conditions, having to contend with service delivery disruptions as a result of crime like theft and vandalism, but also many facilities are situated in the heart of some of our most gang-stricken communities.

Yet there they are, day after day, serving their clients and helping the City of Cape Town build safer communities – one of the priorities in the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan. I tip my hat to our longest serving staff members and their colleagues who continue to help us make this City work for the benefit of all who pass through the clinic doors.

The list of longest serving nursing staff is outlined below:

Glenda Wright 35 years Maitland Head Office
Louisette Mundy 32 years Durbanville
Mirande Maree 20 years Wesbank
Evelyn Tyutu 30 years Luvuyo
Marcelle Lakey 25 years Valhalla Park
Judith Hendricks 27 years Manenberg
Kamillah Majiet 30 years Lotus River
Dianne Paulse 28 years Westridge
Amila Latief 29 years Training Department
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