National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (Nonm) executive committee last week paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Health and Population, Atupele Muluzi in Lilongwe to discuss issues affecting the nursing and midwifery professional.
Nonm President, Shouts Simeza said the meeting with the Minister following their petition to government to look into challenges nurses and midwives face in the country.
The nurses petitioned government over number of concerns ranging from lack of career progression and professionalization, recruitment of additional nurses and midwives, pension scheme for nurses and midwives working in Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) and inhumane working conditions.
“In our petition last year, we raised several issues, including government’s delay in recruiting additional nurses and midwives,” he said.
Simeza added: “We also emphasised on the need for nurses and midwives to have protective wear and professional uniforms.”
He said there are currently over 2000 unemployed nurses and midwives who are looking for employment amidst a 66 percent vacancy rate of nurses and midwives in the country.
“By recruiting additional nurses and midwives, we are going to address the acute shortage of the clinical setting in the country. Mwanza district, for example; has only 29 nurses and midwives on the ground and this is out of 189 nurses and midwives on the establishment,” he said.
The Nonm President who is also the Principal for St. John’s Nursing College in Mzuzu suggested to the Ministry to consider centralising the issue of protective wear and uniforms and at the same time issuing a policy direction to local councils to prioritise these two issues in the budgets.
Muluzi said government is working to address the challenges.
“Let me reassure you that the Ministry of Finance has committed increased resources for the recruitment of health workers including nurses and midwives,” said Muluzi.
Muluzi added that the Ministry has also received a grant from the Global Fund “which has been earmarked for the recruitment of health workers and the Ministry has prioritised employment of Nurses and Midwives.”
He said within the last financial year, his Ministry promoted 1,300 Nurse Midwife Technicians to Senior Nurse Midwife Technician Grade J and this financial year they plan to promote more nurses and midwives.
Muluzi said government and the Ministry of Health and Population in particular is committed to working with Nonm on the issues raised in the petition so as to ensure that personal, professional and socio-economic lives of nurses and midwives are improved.
The Minister was accompanied by Secretary for Health Dr. Dan Namarika and Principal Nursing Officer, Felix Matemba.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :