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Nonm pushes for additional nurses in flooded areas

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SIMEZA

National Organisations of Nurses and Midwives (Nonm) has asked the government to consider recruiting nurses to beef up staff in camps set up for flood survivors.

Nonm President Shouts Simeza said, according to reports, Mulanje, Chikwawa and Phalombe districts have been operating with a limited number of nurses and, yet, the country has a horde of nurses that are waiting for an opportunity.

“We have qualified nurses that have not been employed. Let the government recruit some of them and join nurses in the Shire Valley who are overstretched. People need more health support and that could be the best solution,” Simeza said.

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Malawi Health Equity Network concurred with Simeza but said the recruitment should be extended to all health cadres, including health surveillance assistants, to help in public health management.

“Government can hire retired personnel to beef up the workforce. These can work for a specific period of time so that we serve people in the Shire Valley. Otherwise, the number of healthcare service that are working there at the moment is small,” Jobe said.

However, Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe said the ministry could not recruit nurses now.

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“It takes a long process to hire practitioners in the government system,” he said.

He said, in the meantime, the ministry had directed district hospitals to adhere to emergency rules which, among other things, stipulate that people postpone holidays to ensure that the hospitals have enough workforce during disasters.

“We are in an emergency situation. We are happy to say that people are not going for holidays in the affected districts to ensure that we have more health workers on the ground to assist,” Chikumbe said.

According to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, Tropical Storm Ana has led to the displacement of 22, 000 households, with 100 camps created, so far, to cater for the needs of displaced people.

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