Malawi Nurses and Midwives threaten nationwide strike

The National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (NONM) has announced that starting from Monday, nurses are starting a national wide strike to force government to implement a February presidential directive.

In February this year, President Joyce Banda made a directive on the conversion of Nurses Midwifery Technicians to Professional Diploma registered nurses and midwifery.

In a statement signed by NONM President Jonathan Abraham Gama and Executive Director Harriet Kapyepye, the body said this follows their earlier communication to the authorities that there are some forces which are there to frustrate them by dilly-dallying in rolling out the program.

“The strike, which will see nurses and midwives assemble at their working places, will last as long as our calls are not heard,” reads the release.

Gama: We will strike

In a separate letter which the body has sent to President Banda, and Nyasa Times has seen, the body has demanded that the board chair of the Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi and its Registrar be removed, the entire board be dissolved and Director of Nursing in the Ministry of Health Mrs Sheilla Bandazi be transferred.

“The nurses through their body NONM feels that the council is deliberately failing to comply with the president’s directive hence the demand to have it dissolved,” reads part of the release.

According to Gama, the program will give chance to many nurses and midwives who were stuck on NMT for a long time to have chance to rise up in their positions.

“These workers have been meeting challenges when it comes to promotions and applying for some jobs in other sectors because they had little platform to upgrade their qualifications.” he said.

The taskforce included the Office of President and Cabinet, Ministry of Health, NONM, KCH, CHAM, Health Service Commission and the Midwives Council of Malawi.

Gama said the modalities and a report were submitted to the president and was approved with the taskforce getting the feedback on July 13.

“So far, our achievements include identifying supporters of the initiative such as the Ministry of Health which will fund the development of the syllabus and modules which has already been approved, I-TECH will help with developing curriculum which shall be facilitated by Malawi College of Health Sciences and ICAP will help with scholarships for the student,” said Gama.

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