Nurses and midwives body calls for positive coverage on their profession

The National Organization of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (NONM) has called for renewed working relationship with the media in order to build good public image and achieve positive coverage on nursing and midwifery professions.

NONM Acting Executive Director Harriet Chiomba said it is disheartening that nurses and midwives continue receiving negative publicity despite making huge contributions towards improving the quality of care in both public and private health facilities.

Chiomba–Some nurses and midwives are doing commendable job, but their contribution is never appreciated due to negative publicity–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

Chiomba made the remarks in Salima on Friday when she opened a day-long media orientation workshop.

The training, which was held at Kabumba Hotel in Salima, was organized with financial support from the Norwegian Nurses Organization (NNO) and Norwegian Aid for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

Chiomba lamented that their efforts towards improving the quality of healthcare services are usually overshadowed by negative publicity, which they get when one of them does something wrong in their line of duties.

“Much as we appreciate that there are bad apples in the profession, we also need the media to highlight the positive contribution we are making towards serving and saving lives. That’s why we have called for renewed relationship with the media so that they can help in rebuilding our good image to the public,” she said.

Chiomba (back to camera) addressing journalists at Kabumba Hotel in Salima on Friday–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

NONM is a membership organization, which was established to promote and maintain members’ professional interests and socioeconomic welfare to effectively contribute to quality health care services rendered to the nation.

Chiomba stated that over 95 percent of the work done by nurses and midwives is professional, yet the public perception is that all of them are bad.

However, Chiomba disclosed that the organization had lost some of its members to Covid-19 pandemic.

She said this has negatively affected their operations and contribution to the health sector.

“We have lost a number of nurses and midwives due to Covid-19. But that has not been covered by the media through the union. So, we decided to organize this workshop to revive our working relationship,” said Chiomba.

In his presentation, NONM legal counsel Mauya Msuku urged journalists to adhere to their professional ethics to ensure they do not attract lawsuits through unbalanced stories.

Nation Publications Limited (NPL) Investigative Journalist Suzgo Chitete commended the organization for organizing the training, describing it as crucial in building trust between journalists and healthcare workers.

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