This Saturday Doctors Without Borders (MSF) commemorates International Nurses Day (12 May 2018) to celebrate the huge contribution made by nurses worldwide on a day coinciding with the birthday of Florence Nightingale – the founder of modern nursing.
This year MSF celebrates the nurses who are the backbone and integral part of our medical operations worldwide. There are about 8,000 MSF nurses who are constantly at our patients’ side at all times to provide quality healthcare.
MSF nurses help to set up health posts, operate feeding centres for malnourished infants and children, run clinics and hospitals. They also plan and implement vaccination campaigns, and organise mother and child health programmes in more than 65 countries where MSF teams operate. As an international medical humanitarian organisation we acknowledge the contributions that nurses make to all societies. We believe that there is no treatment without care.
At MSF, we take pride in delivering the best possible care to our patients, wherever they are and whoever they are. Nurses do the life-saving work most of the time, they’re the ones who know our patients the best. None of what we do at MSF would be possible without them.
Today, we celebrate four of our MSF nurses who specialise in different forms of nursing, working in various MSF projects in South Africa. Mpumi Mantangana, Cecilia Lamola, Kgaladi Mphahlele and Velaphi Bhengu represent the multitudes of nurses doing great work throughout the world.
Here are brief biographies of the four MSF field workers:
Mpumi Mantangana, Clinical Nurse – Mpumi is an incredible nurse who has been working with MSF in South Africa since the early years of our teams’ fight for the roll-out of antiretroviral treatment. She is also involved in MSF’s study on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is an HIV prevention strategy where HIV negative people take medication daily to prevent them from becoming positive if they are exposed to the virus. In 2009, she received the Cecilia Makiwana Recognition Award heralding her as the best nurse in the Western Cape province.
Cecilia Lamola, Forensic Nurse and nurse mentor – Based in Rustenburg, Cecilia is in charge of the forensic nursing mentorship programme run by Department of Health with MSF support. She is a crucial member of MSF’s Rustenburg project’s team. She represented the voice for a project in multiple national publications, speaking out about the issues of sexual violence in the country as well as the problem of a shortage of forensic nurses in South Africa.
Kgaladi Mphahlele, Technical Choice on termination of pregnancy (CTOP) Referent – Nursing is a profession that largely consists of women however, Kgaladi took up this profession as his calling. He currently works as a clinical activities manager for MSF and manages the Kgomotso Care Centre in Boitekong, outside Rustenburg. He is involved in advocacy in and around the Northwest province. He decided to go through the training so that he could help to reduce the dangers and complications that associated with unsafe pregnancy terminations.
Velaphi Bhengu, Clinical Nurse – Another male MSF nurse, Velaphi, works as a High Transmission Areas (HTA) supervisor for MSF at the Eshowe project in KwaZulu Natal. Through his excellent work, he has become indispensable to the project. He works with male healthcare projects to tackle HIV and TB. He knows that most men are not comfortable with going to the clinic for health checks and health issues.
About Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
Doctors Without Borders/MSF is an independent international medical humanitarian organisation working to bring emergency medical care to people caught in conflict, crises and disasters in more than 65 countries around the world including South Africa. We rely on the regular generous donations from individual donors to support our work.
To support MSF’s work:
SMS “JOIN” to 41486 to donate R15 per month
CAPTION: Mpumi Mantangana, Nurse – Khayelitsha. Photographer: MSF