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Sannam Saddened By Killing of Two Senior Public Health Nurses in Lesotho
20 August 2014

The Southern African Network of Nurses and Midwives (SANNAM) is highly saddened by the brutal killing of two senior Public Health nurses in Lesotho last week in the month dedicated to African Women, and would like to caution that this behaviour will lead to further drain of the already scarce nurses in the region.

The nurses, between the ages of 30 and 40 years, were found in the middle of the field just 5 kilometres away from the hotel where they were staying in for the duration of the workshop that they had attended at Mmelesi Lodge in Thaba Bosiu. They were beaten up, their heads were bashed and victims appeared to have been raped.

Nurses in Lesotho, led by Lesotho Nurses Association, will be marching to the Prime Minister to deliver a petition on the history of similar cases where nurses were killed and perpetrators never found.

Countries such as Lesotho are struggling to have sufficient number of nurses for their populations, let alone senior nurses with such wealth of experience, at the time of high rate of non-communicable diseases.

SANNAM is would like to urge countries in the SADC region to prioritise the safety of nurses as they are a very scarce resource in the region and some suffer brain drain from developed nations.

With the latest outbreak of diseases such as Ebola, which has now hit countries in West Africa, there is every need to safeguard the safety and well-being of health professionals in the continent. And the killing of nurses, as is the case in many countries in the region, will only worsen the conditions in the continent and SANNAM cannot keep quiet when these incidences happen as often as they do.

The nurse-to-population ratio in the continent and especially in the SADC region, which is the most hit by extreme socio-economic conditions, is extremely high much to the compromise of quality healthcare for citizens.

“As SANNAM, we demand a full report regarding the death of these nurses and we call upon Head of Police to ensure that perpetrators are found and brought to book,” says Bheki Mamba, Chairperson of SANNAM.

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