CPS statement on International Nurses Day 2022

12 May 2022

The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) joins the working class in celebrating International Nurses Day, this year held under the theme Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health.

Nurses remain the bedrock of the healthcare system of every country and have been at the forefront in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to other diseases that beleaguer humanity.

In Swaziland, a high number of nurses are among the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic as the regime failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment, thus exposing them to the virus. As a result, nurses and health workers have held protests demanding the basics needed for them to do their work.

Swaziland continues to suffer extreme shortage of drugs and medical equipment in public hospitals and clinics. The autocracy continues to prioritise the extravagant lifestyle of the royal family while the health of the nation, about 70 percent of whom are impoverished, continues to worsen.

In its deepening attack on nurses’ rights, the Mswati autocracy continues its policy of hiring nurses on short-term contracts, negatively affecting nurses’ job security. There is also shortage of staff, consequently overburdening nurses and health workers, in violation of basic workers’ rights.

The Mswati regime is incapable of resolving Swaziland’s health crisis. It has downgraded nurses’ rights and jeopardised the health of the nation. All signs show that the health situation in the country is worsening. Only a democratic dispensation presents real hopes of improved healthcare for the people of Swaziland.

The CPS calls upon nurses across the country to forge the greatest possible unity, to be actively involved in the various working-class struggles for the democratisation of the country under the Democracy Now campaign.

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