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Health sector has 52% vacancy rate

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By Matilda Chimwaza:

The government has disclosed that there is a vacancy rate of 52 percent in the healthcare sector, a development that is affecting provision of quality services in the country.

Ministry of Health Principal Secretary (PS), Dan Namarika, said this on Saturday during the graduation ceremony of nurses and midwives at Mulanje Mission College of Nursing and Midwifery.

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Namarika said the nursing field has 63 percent vacancy rate but was quick to point out that the government is in the processes of recruiting health personnel.

“It is clear that we have a 63 percent vacancy rate in the nursing field and 52 percent across the board [health sector]. But as I stated, in the 2018/19 budget, there is a provision to recruit new members of staff and in a week both Cham [Christian Health Association of Malawi], Ministry of Health and Local Government Service Commission will be providing adverts to start the recruitment process,” Namarika said.

He added that the government would also use qualified interns to fill up vacancies in the health sector.

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“There is an additional resource from the Global Fund that we just reprogrammed and we think that, by January next year, we will have recruited another group [of health workers] through this fund,” he said.

However, the PS urged health workers to be exemplary and demonstrate professional conduct when discharging their duties.

“Healthcare workers are frontline people in the health field, hence the need to work with integrity. A good relationship between healthcare providers and communities would enhance healthcare services in the country,” Namarika said.

He said the government is working on improving the living conditions of health workers.

Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Blantyre Synod Deputy General Secretary, Reverend Moyenda Kanjerwa, said the college has instilled in the graduating students good values and they expect professional conduct from the graduating nurses and midwives.

One of the graduating students, Ellinat Kalulu, said she ready to serve the nation through hard work and dedication.

This is the twelfth graduation ceremony at the college which is run by Blantyre Synod of the CCAP.

One hundred sixty three students graduated with diplomas in nursing and didwifery and certificate in community midwifery.

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