VP Kachali bemoans Malawi nursing brain drain

Vice President Khumbo Kachali, who is also Minister of Health, has bemoaned the tendency by nurses and midwives in the country who leave to seek better wages abroad instead of working in the country.

Like most African countries, Malawi has suffered from a severe shortage of nurses and key health workers.

In the past, workers in the tiny southeast African nation of just 13 million inhabitants have been lured abroad by the promise of higher wages and better working conditions.

But the Vice President was speaking in Lilongwe on Wednesday when he officially opened a two-day International Conference–Nursing Education in Africa: Changes and Challenges being held at Bingu International Conference Centre, said nurses and midwives form the backbone of better health service delivery and that erosion of their service would deprive the citizenry of better health services.

Vice President Khumbo Kachali : Nurses leaving, seeking better prospects

“Nurses and midwives are very critical in the health service delivery in the country and there is need for more nurses and midwives to be trained in order to meet the demand.

“However, there is a tendency by some nurses and midwives to work abroad. This hinders efforts by government to ensure that the country has good health service delivery,” Kachali said.

Malawi’s expensively trained medical personnel are a prizecatch for the Britain’s NHS.

The Vice President hailed the Norwegian government for its unwavering financial and technical support rendered towards educating meical experts in the country, saying availability of human resource in the health sector would enhance better services.

In his  remarks, Charge’d’ Affaires for Norwegian Embassy, Jan Haakon Olsson said his country would continue helping Malawi to ensure that many nurses and midwives are trained in order to help in reducing maternal deaths the country.

“We realize the role nurses and midwives play in reducing maternal deaths. Our government will continue supporting Malawi in training these nurses and midwives so that there is better health service delivery,” Olsson said.

The conference, funded by Norwegian government, has drawn participants from 17 countries including Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, United Kingdom and United States of America among others. It is expected to end on Thursday, November 8, 2012.

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