Nurses and midwives in Malawi have bemoaned the poor working conditions under which they are discharging their life-saving duties.
President of the National Organization of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (NONM) Shouts Galang’anda Makhumbo Simeza lamented that nurses and midwives are barely surviving while risking their lives by discharging their life-saving duties under poor conditions.
Simeza made the remarks in Lilongwe on the sidelines of the 7th Extraordinary Biannual General Meeting (BGM), which took place at the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHES) on Friday.
The meeting was held under the theme: “Sustaining NONM for Heroes to soldier on even in the face of COVID -19 towards a healthy Nation.”
Simeza expressed disappointment over failure by the government to improve the welfare of nurses and midwives in the country.
“Our nurses and midwives operate far from their duty stations because there are no houses to accommodate them. Their salaries are generally low such that they can’t afford a decent living,” he said.
He added that Malawi has a big shortage in the nursing and midwifery sector, a situation that forces the available nurses and midwives to overwork.
He complained that although the available nurses and midwives have endeavoured to deliver the best service to patients, promotions and other professional development initiatives elude them.
“We have been pleading with the government to consider promoting nurses and midwives as a way of motivation, but the response from the government has been demoralizing. If we are to achieve Universal Health Coverage, the government needs to motivate healthcare workers, including nurses and midwives,” emphasized Simeza.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Madalitso Kambauwa-Wirima, who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Health, acknowledged the tireless efforts the nursing and midwifery workforce has made in the provision of service to humanity.
Kambauwa-Wirima admitted that Malawi cannot successfully implement its Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP 2017-2021) without investing in the health sector.
The plan stresses the responsibility to ensure the promotion of the quality of life for all Malawians through the delivery of an Essential Health Package that will achieve “Universal Health Coverage, meaning that all people have access to health services including prevention, promotion, and treatment among others while also ensuring that the end-user is not exposed to financial hardships.
“I surely know that this cannot be achieved without you. So, thank you sincerely, and I really needed to start with that – to show you that all your good works are not going unnoticed,” she said.
On recruitment of additional nurses and midwives, the Deputy Minister disclosed that the Ministry of Health is waiting for the Treasury to release funding for the exercise.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :