Association aiming at improving Malawi nurses conduct

The National Association of Nurses in Malawi says it is embarking programmes aimed at improving the conduct of nurses in the country and reduce complaints against them in the hospitals thereby ensure patients’ welfare.

National Association of Nurses in Malawi, Executive Director, Harriet Kapyepye said in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) that they are aware that some nurses’ conduct is questionable.

“That is why our association is carrying out capacity building project on the nurses, which has a standing committee that is also dealing with grievances from patients against the nurses.

Nursing students in Malawi

“We are also working out to improving nurses’ attitude during working hours, as the nurses- to- population ratio is 1:2300, which is too high to achieve quality treatment.

“Nurses overwork most of the time and they develop stress which is why sometimes they misbehave during the course of discharging their duties.

“However, we are promoting unity among the nurses where they can train themselves to express their grievances without injuring others,” said Kapyepye.

Kapyepye further said her organization disciplines the nurses who have been found guilty of misconduct and that it does not condone any misbehaviour by its members.

She also said their association is lobbying for many Malawians to be trained as nurses in order to ease the burden of inadequate nurses in the country.

“Some nurses are also working while sick and most of them are sacrificing themselves to assist the patients as they work odd hours. They need to be motivated,” she said.

Malawi Health Equity Network Executive Director, Martha Kwataine said though she appreciated the plight of the nurses in the country due to a number of challenges they are facing, it should not be an excuse to misbehave.

“When they have a problem, they are supposed to engage in dialogue with their bosses not necessarily to punish innocent patients most of whom are poor people from the rural areas that do not know their health rights,” said Kwataine.

Kwataine further said the nurses should change their attitude because they applied for the job which means they were ready to serve the public.

She further said her organization was lobbying donors to increase their support to nurses in order that some of these problems should be ironed out.

Kwataine also said her organization was working with the communities to raise awareness on their right to health so that they can report any mistreatment they go through in the hands of the nurses.

“The community must demand what belongs to them and make sure that the relationship between the public and the nurses should be cordial not the patients being undermined and that is why our organization is advocating for the rights of the patients,” said Kwataine.

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