Over 15 cleaners and porters in the Eastern Cape have graduated. They are now full time nurses in public hospitals around the province.

The group applied for bursaries to study as nurses in 2015.

Lindelwa Mfaxa, one of the graduates, has now swapped her broom and bucket at Cecelia Makhiwane for theatre scrubs.

At the age of 44 she is now a qualified theatre nurse. Being a student, a wife and a mother of two came with its challenges, but being part of helping people get well makes her happy.

Her husband, Vuyani Mfaxa, says there were times when he had to cook for himself and the children because she was working hard.

Life for Lindelwa and her family has now changed for the better.

The health department’s spokesperson, Lindelwa Sicwetsha says they will try to employ workers already in the system to encourage them. The Eastern Cape currently has 24 000 nurses working in the facilities throughout the province.

There are still 6000 nurses short. The inclusion of Lindelwa and her colleagues into the system is much needed.