Malawi nurses threaten strike action: Demand govt to re-employ health care workers

Malawi nurses have warned they will take industrial action government to rescind its decision to allow over 300 new cadres of nurses and doctors to start practicing to save lives in hospitals of the country.

Ngoma addressing a news conference

Ngoma addressing a news conference

Nurses concerns

Nurses concerns

government has withdrawn the redeployment list and offer letters of employment to newly recruited nurse midwives, technicians and nursing officers due to lack of funds needed for government to sustain them.

In a letter dated September 10 2015 copied to all directors’ of central hospitals, district health officers (DHOs) and the executive secretary of Health Service Commission, Ministry of Health (MoH) Principal Secretary Mr MacPhail Magwira said government will confirm at a later date about the affected personnel’s contracts.

National Organisation for Nurses and Midwives (Nonm) executive director Ms Harriet Kapyepye said the decision threatens to further cripple the health service delivery in hospitals.

Speaking at a news conference in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Human Resource for Health Coalition (HRHC) president Dorothy Ngoma said that government should reverse the decision at the same time review its commitments it made in improving the lives of its people because there cannot be meaningful growth if citizens are spending hours in hospitals due to shortage of staff.

“The acts by our government can lead to brain drain as our health care workers are demotivated ending up in private hospitals sector or leaving the country,” she observed.

Malawi’s nurse to patient ratio stands at one to 3 000 compared to one to 1 000 recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which Ngoma said was “shocking.”

“The government ought to pay the new recruits. It has made a grave misstate. This is inappropriate,” said Ngoma.

“Government is putting Malawian citizens at risk.”

Ngoma warned of national strike of nurses if government refuses to buldge.

“If government decice they don’t have money, for whatever reasons, we are going to court. We give them 21 days to reverse it or we declare a strike,” said bold Ngoma, a health activist of high repute.

Malawi Congress for Trade Union (MCTU) General Secretary, Pontius Kalichero, said the act by government to withdraw offer letters from health care workers is a violation of labour practices of the country.

“We urge government to call them back and save lives of people most of whom live in rural areas,” he said.

He vowed that the Union will never relent but fight on until the newly recruited health care workers are back to their stations of duty.

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51 thoughts on “Malawi nurses threaten strike action: Demand govt to re-employ health care workers”

  1. Mlomwe says:

    Malume amenewa atienjeza bwanji?ine kuyambira utsogoleri wa Kamuzu mpakana wa JB sindinamvepo umve ngati umenewu.Alomwe mesa mumati iye ndi Professor?Lero ndiye wakusambwazani ndipo simunathe.Alomwe opanda nzeru anthu onukha inu.Dziko lakukanikani kulamulira

  2. benjnes says:

    dear nurses we are all ready to support you. just tell us when you intend to go on strike we the employees will not come to work for one we starting from 15th october 2015 so that we dont pay P.A.Y.E. to the corrupt government. this massage is goes to all working class people let us hold hands and take the government to task

  3. Namihavani says:

    NONM kupumuluma by the way who is going to particiapte in this strike the govt says it sorting out issues inuyo a NONM you think contrary. Its high this junior docs and nurses should be applyining than being deployed directly thats why they are very rude ku field kukana ma postings and the like

  4. Mwendanato says:


  5. jah says:

    i am sure gov has never said no to nurses ever since but currently the coffers are dry. if i may ask silly leaders of nurses council, who is your fucken biggest employer? you mean you have the audacity to force an employer who has no money. even yourself dorofe ngoma some of your relations are poor and your failing to assist them. advise your pple to go where there is money period! dont use them to achieve your agenda

  6. John K Black says:

    The nurses are threatening two actions: going to court and industrial action. They should go to court immediately: esseentially all these nurses have been fired after they already received letters of employment. This is a violation of the labour law. Also the right to life of patients is needlessly violated, this is a constitutional right. I am sure a good lawyer can find more violations of the working conditions of nurses who are employed now and who are needlessly put in a situation of being overworked as the number of nurses is 1/3 (!) of what it should be.
    Industrial action should be used after all avenues of discussion with government have been exhausted, three weeks should be enough.

  7. Patricia Kaliati says:

    INE NDAKHALA NDIKUSUTSANA nawo abwana athu koma mutu wa Peter Mthalika ndiwowuma wasiyana ndiwa Bingu taganizani iye akufuna kuchotsa maphunziro pamene mwana wake sanaphunzire mu Malawi

  8. Malunga says:

    We live in a capitalist world ladies and gentlemen. The people at the top will never be affected coz they are not treated or looked after by newly qualifies under experienced nurses and doctors. A free Health-care system in poor countries without resources has always failed, the model of health care is long overhead and has reached its breaking point. The only reason it looked sustainable is because most of it was donor funded… Malawians please grow up, the honeymoon is finally over.

  9. chefourpence says:

    will the strike create money? Foolish!

  10. Boji says:

    Government is saving money, now education is almost privatised with exorbitant fees,. Health is the next. Money is available for foreign trips.

  11. Nurse says:

    Nayoni strike tili pa mbuyo pano mai anthu awa a DPP akuchita za usiru

  12. bwangandubwangandu says:

    Inuyo aphunzitsi kugunata maningi nanu

  13. George Kamanga says:

    Kenyetta Nyirenda & Maxon Mbendera don’t think that you are safe with cash you got by helping DPP to rig the election. As many Malawians are facing the pain which they didn’t deserve but because of your greedy & evil hearts. you two your end is greatly miserable and all who benefit from the cash you got by putting Malawians into this pain will also feel the pain which innocent souls are facing in this nation.

    As long as God is their He will never allow innocent souls suffer for few evil doers

  14. Wozitsata says:

    This is the problem when a whole government chooses to pursue useless policies like malata subsidy for the sake of fulfilling campaign promises and win votes but doing so at the expense of addressing these real issues. Come on people how many people are going to benefit from the malata program and shall in turn result in more votes? On the other hand how much will this decision cost government in terms of popularity and what would be the consequences at the polls?

  15. surely says:

    Do we really have leadership in this Country? A minister a health wautali kukatakata allowance pa US. Chaos in Malawi. Even those considered to be well educated are just clapping hands. Zoopsya kwambiri.

  16. John Chidyaonga says:

    Please let us impeach this clueless President before it’s too late. 2019 is too far off this country is becoming a failed state because of lack of leadership.

  17. Moris Maxon says:

    Apa tiyeni strike iyambike. A D.P.P akudya wokha ndalama. Osangopanga strike musakuzindikira. Kupeza mpata kumapanga strike ndikumaona choti tibepo. Mutidziwa a Malawi. Tingowonongapo apa. Umayesa masewera. Udyeretu

  18. Mwana Mulanje says:

    Clueless DPP you have lost all the 2019 votes from my family!

  19. chinchin says:

    Vuto la boma ndikusamva. Mac Phil Magwira samatha ntchito…ask Ministry of Education civil servants.

  20. Mukavu says:

    Ndi zomwe tinafetsa tsopano tikukolora.CASH GATE WOYEEE !

  21. Ngedoma says:

    aphunzitsi akhala akudikira kwa chaka asanawalembe ntchito ndie inu mukuzimva kupambana chani? Nanu mudikireko muone m’mene zimawawira ukamangokhala kudikira posting by the way mukuthamangirako chani poti mankhwala zipatala mulibe mukufuna muzizangotitukwana tikakupezani kumeneko….aisovenge ma nurse.
    Munawamvapo aphunzitsi akuti tipanga strike coz amzathu simukuwalemba ntchito?????

  22. changamtuwa says:

    Sad indeed. Govt can not afford to pay nurses yet they can afford to spend tax payer’s money on luxuries in the US. Mutharika and his crew are so heartless. How much do nurses get zoti boma likakanika kuwalipira, inu mumapita kunja mukadwala koma munthu wamba ngati ine timadalira nurse wakuno kumudzi.

  23. kapy says:

    Kodi munthu amaumirizidwa kulemba munthu Wina ntchito iye Alibe ndalama? Sopano aziripidwa chani?

  24. Boma lathu liri ndi ndalama zambiri likana khala kt lilibe sibwenzi litatumiza anthu oposera 100 ku America ma nurse ayambe ntchito yawo iwonso ndi mbadwa za dziko lino

  25. khuere says:


  26. Angelo okuda mitima inu asatana. Kukonda ndalama basi kumadela mumakhalako osamakagwila ntchito zachifundo bwanji. Mumanama kuti its God calling job mwatani kodi. Nanunso anduna kungoyamba ndidzi matama ngati kuti boma ndi munyumba mwanu musova.

  27. kwakwase says:

    lndeed, nurses are vital in the care of pts, Malawi needs more of these health personels

  28. mbatose shawa says:

    paja nkhondo ya upgrading forNMTs anapanga okha eti??????akanakhala kuti its only NMT I COULD HAVE PARTICIPARED koma ma NO(Nursing Officers) aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa akatumbweso mu ward ngati amatha ntchito no wayyyyyyyyyyy

  29. Akum says:

    There is an overproduction of graduates than the government can manage.

  30. Akum says:

    At first it was labaratory scientists(who are by far more qualified,having Honours Degrees),being delayed employment,and nw it’s on nurses.The best way is for all these to be undergoing interviews,including Doctors and Pharmacy,that they recruit only manageable numbers.

  31. Greencard says:

    Blame yourselves Malawians, the man whom call president has no qualities of a leader. It is a shame to fear God nation and if you can pray intensively within three days God can answer your prayers with fire.

  32. Greencard says:

    Blame yourselves Malawians, the man whom call president has no qualities of a leader. It is a shame to fear God nation and if can pray intensively within three days God can answer your prayers with fire.

  33. Girl says:

    Tingomenyanapo apa asaa amlomwe nonse outttttttttttttttt Bushiri tabwera udzaone amlomwe’wa ationjezatu asaaaaa

  34. Masikini says:

    Rute Nyakala and others of your views, yes there were 8 or more political parties to vote for but there were only 3 strong ones that’s DPP, MCP and PP. For obvious reasons no sane person could have voted for PP (Cashgaters) thereby leaving us with DPP and MCP.
    Let me tell you that it is only those kids who were born after 1994 who are not in the know of how MCP terrorized this country. Again no sane person could take a risk of voting for this party to come back as memories are still fresh of how they went further to intimidated the catholic church in this country. They locked up the Bishops, some threatened to urinate into their mouths. So many atrocities to mention. The whole world knows how bad that regime was. Unless they change their name, maybe but as for now forget. Ask the Pope. This leaves us with only DPP. What else can people do other than voting for the lesser evil one? Your guess is as good as mine.

  35. mavuto malawi says:


  36. real man says:

    We want more nurses. Its better you put on hold doctors, Lab scientist, Pharmacist etc but not nurses. Nurses care us alot.

    Secondly government should not be giving salaries to interns because they are still student. They should just be put in hostels and given upkeep allowances.

  37. Uselessiiii says:

    Dzuka Malawi Dzuka

  38. reasonable man says:

    TUM learn from the nurses council . primary school teachers on ODL programme not yet employed . its more than a year now in multi chete useless TUM . that is the spirit nurses council.we are proud of the changes you bring too the proffession

  39. Patriot says:

    Saulo wa lero,
    Saulo wa lero,
    Ndi Mutharika,
    Waliyika dziko pa moto,
    Nthaka yodalitsika ija,

    This is the worst gouvernment Malawi ever had since 1964.
    In the next session of parliament, I suggest


    That is the way to go.

    We are suffering bcoz of this so called professor.


  40. Malawi Wane says:

    Apa ndipamene a Lucius munga bwelese impitchment motion ija.


    When people were talking about a failed state,thought was just pep talk. But now I can clearly see! THE WARM HEART OF AFRICA(FAILED STATE – MALAWI) let’s accept that Malawi is a failed state,from its leaders to its Natural resources. Am even ashamed to be called a Malawian under this clueless leadership DPP and its failed leaders

  42. zatikwana says:

    300million kwacha=34000metric tones koma pano mwapitira Ku america

  43. Phodogoma says:

    Find better way of advising southerners how to vote for national elections. Otherwise southerners will repeat the voting style come 2015. Just go through the results of the bye- elections for the councellors.DPP made 60 percent while amayi made 0 percent. Ndiye mukutokota chiyani. Redundancy is found in the regulations of services unless you are telling us that malawi Government has no regulations. Read your regulations. Worse still if you are declared redundant while you are a probationer, then you just get your one month salary. That is all and over. Mutonena chani inu. Musatowapseza ambuyanga che mathanyula. Asa khamuwadziwa malamulo eti. Make arguments using standing principles and labour laws not from political view. Chamba eti. Wosakavala masanza a gulewamkulu bwanji iwe ngoma.

  44. mzamba wamkulu says:

    mwaziona mmati polofesa. this is too stupid. lets put pens down tione.

  45. chigumula says:

    This Peter guy has his priorities upside down. He is not fit to rule a village later on a country! We sold this country to some idiotic fool who has no clue on what he is doing!

    The next thing we will see is a sunk ship! Being in Malawi now is like boarding a ship being guided by an untrained captain!

    Go konko. Tiyeni nayo strikeyo. Watizilowera ameneyu.

  46. Umziya says:

    Lets go on strike. Mbavazi zingochoka basi

  47. Bandasiime says:

    Ndi zomwe mumafuna!!!!!!

  48. Climiton says:

    This country is for those they are in high posion

  49. Ipad says:

    What are the priorities of this government? mapwevupwevu kapena? Tiye nayoni strike ajaira agalu amenewa

  50. Thako Lambeta says:

    Tell dem mama we r proud of you, tisagwire ntchito ngati pa estate iwe ndalama ukukadya ku ameleka uko.

  51. rute nyakala says:

    Koma ziliko,abale whoever voted for dpp must be ashamed,dpp is hated by the donor community,intelligent people knew about this even before elections,thus why we were advising people never to vote for dpp but any other party that could attract good relationship with the donors and other international relations,we had more than 8 political parties and this was the best choice you malawians? have you seen now that voting under the influence of tribal emotions is dangerous? now whether you are lhomwe or sourthener,you will be affected by being led by this dpp-lhomwe gvt,malawians we are of below average intellect indeed,we like supporting trash,and I can’t believe some judges fought so had for this failed party to come back to power,now this is it,I would like to see the syllabus these judges go through when at school of law,it surely needs serious overhauling,an educated person ought to weigh the pros and cons of every decision they make,for both short term and long term benefit,now judges look you have put the lives of millions of malawians at risk,some as am writing now are dying due to your incompetence,in and outside the hospital ,its bizarre to withdraw an already employee person,alot of psychological and economic trauma associated with it,let alone in the already incapacited health department,dzuka Malawi,dzitayeni zomavotela munthu poti ndiwantundu wanu lapena ndiwachigawo chakwanu,thus archaic way of doing things,

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