Provincial Cecilia Makiwane Nurses' Recognition Awards 2011 Ceremony
Western Cape Government Health hosted its annual Provincial Cecilia Makiwane Nurses' Recognition Awards Ceremony on Friday, 28 October 2011, at the Groote Schuur Nico Malan Hall.
The Cecilia Makiwane Recognition Awards for Nurses, the first black nurse to be recognised by government almost a century ago. The year 1900 is regarded as the beginning of education and training of black nurses in South Africa. In 1903, the first three-year nursing course started with two young black students, namely Mina Colani and Cecilia Makiwane. Cecilia proceeded to take up the Colonial Medical Council exam in 1907 and became the first black nurse in Africa to be a professional nurse.
The purpose of the award is to express sincere gratitude to those who form the backbone of the health system, and to pay tribute and salute nurses who have been making a real contribution with commitment and dedication to the health system in the province.
Western Cape Health Minister, Theuns Botha, says, "Counting 11 762 nurses out of 28 000 employees in the Western Cape Department of Health, our nurses are almost half of our workforce. They form the backbone of our health services and, without their devotion and services, we would not have an offering."
The selection criteria included living up to the nurses' pledge and nursing ethics, going beyond the call of duty, having a positive attitude to patients and colleagues, contributing to effective management, and being part of the multi-disciplinary healthcare team.
Each province identifies a provincial winner and a runner-up. The winner and runner-up from their respective provinces receives a momentary reward. The nine provincial winners will later compete for the National Cecilia Makiwane Recognition Award.
"It is really unfortunate that we lose our experienced and professional nurses in the age group 55 - 65. However, to overcome the shortage of nurses in both general and specialty areas, we need to focus on the continuous training of nurses in specialty areas and have a readily available pool of nurses to provide a sustainable health service delivery in the public sector. That means our immediate requirement is to train 450 professional nurses for the 2012 academic year, increasing by 50 for every academic year."
Marlene Davis, an auxiliary nurse with 37 years' experience, who works in the Riversdale Mobile, Hessequa Sub-District, is the 2011 Western Cape Provincial Cecilia Makiwane winner. The enrolled nursing assistant has been in the coal face of assisting the farm workers of Riversdale. Going the extra mile is not an option for the nurse but a lifestyle, often travelling more than 1 000 kilometres a month.
Nurse Davids makes it her duty to visit all of the farming areas which are often inaccessible during winter times but the intrepid nursing assistant braves the elements and crosses flooded rivers to get to her patients. While travelling in a microbus, which often has a flat wheel or cannot start, Nurse Davids does not stand back and either changes the wheel of the minibus or push starts the mini-bus to get to her patients. Providing a quality service to her community, she took it upon herself to liaise with the farmers in the Riversdale area and motivated for their assistance to help them with providing seeds for vegetable gardens.
Many of her patients either have diabetes or high blood pressure or in most cases both. She urged the farmer workers to cultivate their own crops and even dedicated of her own time to show them how to prepare and plant these vegetables. Every month, Nurse Davids makes sure to inspect these gardens to make sure they are properly looked after and that they are eating the vegetables to lower these chronic diseases.
Often covering treacherous plains, Nurse Davids gives 100% of herself every day and often bears 42 degrees to see her patients. When the roads are full of mud due to heavy rain and cold it is not easy, but she never complains as she cares for her patients.
The Western Cape Provincial Nominees for 2011 are:
1. Amanda Went
2. Anna Theron
3. Annie Kies
4. Elizabeth Ross
5. Elsa Loubser
6. Fowsia Adams
7. Helen Barrett
8. Johanna Jordaan
9. Karlien Fourie
10. Keith Abrahams
11. Marlene Davis
12. Susan Carolus
13. Yvonne Ntengo