Health-care workers honoured for their contribution in fight against Covid

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has thanked nurses for their contribution in the fight against Covid-19

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said it was remarkable that ordinary people conferred the awards on health-care workers.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize said it was remarkable that ordinary people conferred the awards on health-care workers.
Image: Twitter: Zweli Mkhize

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has thanked nurses for their contribution in the fight against Covid-19 as SA on Friday marked exactly one year since the first case was recorded.

Speaking at the inaugural awards ceremony named “Angel Wings”, Mkhize said that since the first case was reported on March 5, 2020, South Africans had witnessed the steadfastness and resilience of health-care workers through their contribution in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Though this was achieved under very challenging conditions within our health system, nurses soldiered on persistently and remained at the forefront even where their own lives were at risk. We also acknowledge the fact that all the other cadres of health-care workers rose to the occasion in the fight against Covid-19. We have emerged as world leaders in health emergency response because of the expertise, courage and stamina in the field,” he said.

The Angel Wings project is an initiative run by the SA Footwear & Leather Export Council (Saflec) to honour health-care workers for their contribution to the fight against Covid-19. Nominations were submitted by patients who were treated for Covid-19 at various hospitals, as they found solace in the professionalism, care and compassion of the health-care workers who looked after them in hospitals as they battled the disease.

The inaugural award ceremony saw 12 recipients from Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital and Life Entabeni Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal receive the awards from the minister. The awards will be expanded to other provinces.

“It is not often that awards are conferred to professionals by ordinary people, and yet these inaugural awards have captured the wonderful spirit of appreciation that so many South Africans from all walks of life have for our health-care workers.

“Thank you for giving a voice to ordinary people so that our professionals can be recognised with the dignity and humility that reflects their work ethic for which they are being recognised today,” Mkhize said.

The minister said the initiative to honour health workers as “soldiers that go over and beyond on the battlefield” by awarding them Angel Wings was “a solemn distinction and means of symbolising the immense gratitude we have for the great sacrifices while in the line of duty” which were appreciated.

“We are grateful to share this moment with you on this, the anniversary of the first case of Covid-19. This time last year we were saying the first case of Covid-19 is here. Today we are pleased to announce that over 100,000 health care-workers have been vaccinated,” Mkhize said.

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