Nurses all over the world celebrated their profession on Saturday, 12 May, as that is the birthday of the founder of their profession Florence Nightingale who was born in 1820. In the township of Mabopane, near Pretoria, nurses celebrated the day at the private clinic, MediClinic Legae.
Spending time with the nurses was first lady, Bongi Ngema-Zuma, whose health foundation assists in the fight against diabetes. During her speech, Ngema-Zuma, praised iconic South African nurses - Lillian Ngoyi, Albertina Sisulu and Adelaide Tambo - who also helped in the fight against apartheid. While recognising those anti-apartheid icons, a regular nurse who has dedicates her life to saving lives at the clinic, Thandi Radebe, was awarded with the Nursing Excellence Award.
“I ‘am very happy about this award, I was not expecting anything, but by the grace of God everything worked out the way it did today.” Radebe said during as she accepted the award.
During her speech, the first lady emphasised the importance of the work done by nurses in South Africa. “There’s no place or country that can exist or be what it is today without the help of health workers, we might not realise their importance when we pass them on the streets, but one thing for sure is that these people play a big role in our lives.”
The nurses also read out Nightingale pledge after which, a moment of silence was observed.
Entertainment on the day was provided by the clinic choir which comprises of doctors and nurses.