Nurses, doctors and other health workers in the frontline service of coornavirus at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre are on sit in strike, pressing the government to address their grievances regarding the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
They are demanding the revision of risk allowance, transport and recruitment of more health workers.
The healthcare workers -who include nurses, doctors, clinical officers and registrars – say since government’s announcement that it will recruit 2 000 healthcare workers, they haven’t seen any newly recruited health personnel.
They are also asking government to provide special training on how to handle the novel Coronavirus cases.
They say currently the referral hospital has 173 upkeep (temporary) nurses who also need to be recruited permanently.
The workers also made a similar sit in on Tuesday and only returned to work after Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Kondwani Nankhumwa, who was at the hospital on other errands, addressed them.
Nankhumwa promised them that he would inform relevant authorities on the matter.
President Peter Mutharika established a special cabinet committee on Covid-19 to “oversee a cross-government response to the threat posed by the disease”.
Doctors in public hospitals have reported severe shortages of protetive gear, including face shields, full-body suits, goggles, high filter masks and water-repellent long sleeve gowns.
“Most of our public hospitals are lacking protective wear, and most of our front-line staff are exposed to the risk of contracting the virus,” said Collins Mitambo, president of the Medical Doctors Union of Malawi.
Health Minister Jappie Mhango said the government will address the grievenances.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :