The rise of deaths of health care practitioners while on duty in the Mpumalanga healthcare centres has urged authorities to find ways to maximize security measures in these facilities.

Over 70 health professionals were killed in public centres by either their spouses or criminals in 2018 alone. The Department of Health will also draw lessons from Gauteng on how their public centres deal with the security.

A joint prayer wellness session was held on Friday to ask for divine intervention in the protection of health professionals while they dispense their duties was held in Ermelo by the health Department. This comes after more than 70 health professionals were attacked while on duty in public hospitals in 2018.

Salvation Malatjie from Leandra has worked as a health professional for the past 10 years. She says she feels lucky to be alive after she was attacked on two different occasions while on duty. She says these incidences has left her feeling unsafe at her workplace.

“I was assaulted twice in different occasions firstly, I was assaulted by a woman she punched me on the face twice it was like a nightmare to me , then while I was trying to recover that nightmare, then the second incident I was beaten by other guy so he beat me on the face.”

Meanwhile, the provincial health department has acknowledged that there are problems around the issue of safety in public healthcare facilities.

“As a department, we are acknowledging that there are challenges of safety in our hospitals hence we are including the communities because they are the people who go to our facilities and are involved to unsafe matters. So, we are saying they should be part of the solution; and also from our side we are working with the department of DCSSL. We have added security at our facilities with armed guns equipment if they are facing with a situation,” says Health MEC, Sasekani Manzini.

The department says the new hospitals which are currently under construction are built with all the necessary security measures in place to eliminate violence directed at healthcare practitioners.