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Speech by DENOSA President Simon Hlungwani at International Nurses Day celebration in Limpopo

DENOSA President, Simon Hlungwani, delivered an address at the International Nurses Day celebration at Ngoako Ramathlodi Sports Centre in Seshego, Limpopo, on 12 May 2016.

 Date        : 12 May 2016

 Venue    : Ramahlodi Indoor Sport Complex , Seshego, Limpopo Province

Time       : 10H00

While we celebrate the International Nurses Day (IND), which is the date of birth of Florence Nightingale who is the pioneer of modern Nursing, we must commemorate the contribution made by other Nurses around the world. Mary Seacole, a Jamaican Nurses who worked side by side with Nightingale during the crimean war but never recognition because she was black.  We must also celebrate Cecilia Makiwane who is the first black person to be registered as a nurse. We celebrate Albertina Sisulu who contributed in transforming our profession into the non-racial nonsexist fraternity that it is today. Professor Gumbi who was the last president of the South African Nursing Council who climbed the highest echelons of the academia by being the vice chancellor of the University of KZN. We should  not forget Professor Nzimande, the founding president of DENOSA.

DENOSA is the only member of the International Council of Nurses in South Africa, hence e are the custodian of the IND in our country. It is important that I highlight the history of our participation as a country. During the apartheid time, Nurses of South Africa were divided according race, color and boundaries of the then time.

We must celebrate the achievements’ of our contribution in the health fraternity such as the NIMART program that contributed to the increase in the life expectancy of the people of our country to 60 years of age. It would make us Happy if the life expectancy can increase to 70 years. We would be meeting Sustainable Development Goals when we have a Healthy Nation.

The theme of this celebration is:

“Nurses: A force for change – Improving Health Systems Resilience”

It emphasise the role that Nurses must play in order to ensure that our Health System is resilience to any challenge. We must put pressure on government to address weaknesses that we experience on daily basis, ranging from shortage of Health workforce e.g Nurses and support staff; Poor infrastructure, poor supply chain management that includes procurement of basic apparatus and essential medicines and consumables; the safety of staff and patients that renders nurses vulnerable within health facilities.

Nurses work long shifts and that means we don’t get enough time to rest during shifts as we would wake up too early in order to travel long distances and get home late. We are part of society, we care and we need to be cared for as well. We dedicate our lives to the service of humanity.


We go through difficulties daily, often without support such as when we grief for the lives (patients) we lose under our care but we still wake up and go to work to help communities, mostly without even appreciation . We do so only because “IT IS WELL WITH OUR SOULS”