Durban - KwaZulu-Natal healthcare services are to receive a major boost with the graduation of 2 062 new nurses from various campuses of the KwaZulu-Natal College of Nursing.
The new graduates will bring some relief to the overstretched healthcare services in the province, which has a high burden of disease. It has the highest prevalence of HIV as well as the highest incidences of Tuberculosis, Sexually Transmitted Infections and diarrhoea, in the country.
Provincial Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, says the health professionals will play a critical role in improving access and quality healthcare for the majority of people who depend on public facilities.
"They provide essential services that promote health, prevent diseases and deliver health care services to individuals, families and communities based on the primary healthcare approach."
He believes the mechanisms for optimising the strengths and skills of health professionals in the province will be essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Currently, there is a global crisis in the health workforce, expressed by acute shortages and 'poaching' of health workers by developed countries.
The college produced 1 769 nurses in 2007 and 1 952 in 2008.