Nurses with TB want to sue state

Elisha Molefe

Elisha Molefe

The Health Department in North West said nurses who wanted to sue the department for "giving" them TB had not been properly advised about the situation.

Four nurses at Koster Hospital were diagnosed with TB on January 16.

Acting departmental spokesman, Lesiba Molala, said the nurses should not make idle threats if they want compensation.

"It is not conclusive that they contracted the disease on duty. Maybe they contracted the disease within their community," said Molala.

A statement by the Department of Health in the province said the TB infection rate is at an average of 41,5percent within Kgetlengrivier and about 16percent among staff in the health profession. He said the department would hold a meeting with the nurses and the hospital next week.

The Health Department said the disease was neither XDR (extremely drug resistant) nor MDR (multi-drug resistant) TB.

"The challenge for all of us - the department, stakeholders and the communities - is to support those who contract TB, and to trace it back to all those who have had regular contact with those who have been diagnosed so that we can reduce the infection.

"We can confirm that we have neither discovered XDR nor MDR TB," said Nomonde Rasmeni, MEC of health in North West.

It is not clear whether the nurses have taken legal action against the department, but Molala said rumours were circulating that they might.