25 February 2018
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Tuesday, 16 May 2017 12:22

Inadequate personnel, working materials compromise health services in Malawi

Written by  Brighton Chimsinde

Nkhotakota, May 16, 2017: National Organization of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (NONM) President Dorothy Ngoma has appealed to the government, through the current meeting of parliament, to consider allocating adequate resources to the health sector to provide quality services.

The president made the appeal during the commemoration of the 2017 International Nurses Day held Friday at Chigumula Community Sports Ground in Nkhotakota District.

“Malawi is encountering  poor health services  in other health institutions because they are using retired health officers, understaffed  personnel  comparing to Malawi's  population  and  inadequate  medical supplies,” Ngoma said.  

The NONM president said the resources would help the government to employ, retain nurses in health system and procure desired medical supplies in hospitals.

She also added that the funding allocation would enable the government to pay better salaries for nurses who are already in the system including those to be recruited.

“Let me bring to your attention that the majority of our nurses and Midwife Technicians are not recognized internationally. For us to improve the nursing and midwifery standards in the country, we need to seriously start transitioning our nursing and midwifery technicians to become registered nurses.

“Our demand is in line with the Abuja declaration which our own government signed to commit to provide 15 percent of the national budget resources to the health sector. We believe that if the Abuja Declaration is implemented, some of the mentioned challenges will be resolved,” Ngoma said.

NONM also asked the government to ensure that the nurses are timely promoted within the health system to avoid influencing frustration to its members.

“Nurses and midwives are quitting the profession to venture into other industries because they are frustrated due to government’s delays to implement the nursing upgrading programs,” the NONM President said.

Furthermore, the president expressed concern over little space in the government accredited training institutions saying they were not significant. She asked the government to open other similar institutions to commence registered nurses courses in the country.

Ngoma advised NONM members to stick to their professional vows and pledges in the course of discharging their duties that demands them to provide angelic care to the patients and always regard the patients as their bosses.

In his speech, one of the directors in the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports, and Manpower development, Joseph Mwandidya who was also guest of honor at the function admitted that nurses and midwives are working in poor conditions hence he assured them that their ministry is working with Ministry of Health to restore the situation through recruitment of more nurses and midwives.

“We are aware of the challenges you are experiencing, as government we pledge to work with NONM  along with other unions in the public sector to ensure that your conditions of service are well considered to ensure that you are motivated as you provide health services,” Mwandidya assured.

The International Nurses Day was first cerebrated by International Council of Nurses (ICN) in 1965 and this year's theme was: “Nurses a voice to lead, achieving sustainable development goals”

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