Nsanje DHO Nurses Pen Management Over Myriad Challenges 

Nurses and Midwife Technicians (NMTs) under Nsanje District Health Office have penned management highlighting various challenges which they claim are compromising service delivery.

In the petition in Zodiak possession, they have decried poor diet, inadequate resting days and no prioritization in trainings and workshops among other issues which need urgent action.

“To begin with, as a team that provides direct care to patients, we have noted a mono-diet in hospital meals since September, 2020. We preach six food groups in the diet to the poor Malawians around Nsanje yet our own employer fails to do the same. It’s Nsima and beans daily,” reads the petition.

According to them, the situation forces some of their workmates to use their own money to replace the usual beans as some work without meal intake.

“This affects our decision making on important issues related to patients care. We have four days of rest instead of five, immediately after night shift,” they said.

They added: “Registered nurses and other non-technical receive great priority. Sometimes names of NMTs are intentionally erased on the training and workshop lists. We have evidence.”

The concerned nurses, have implored on the authorities to provide one hour thirty minutes dinner time during night shifts, adopt a five-day rest after a three-night shift or maintain a four-day night shift but per two-night shifts and address the other concerns including trainings and workshops or else they will they will resort to industrial action.

They have given the management a seven-day ultimatum including weekend, to act on the concerns.

Nsanje District Health Office Health Promotions Officer, George Mbotwa, confirmed receipt of the petition.

On diet, Mbotwa blamed the situation on inadequate resources.

“This is beyond ourselves because what we are giving to patients is basically what the health workers are benefiting from. It is not because we want them to be having beans every day; it is what we can afford right now,” explained Mbotwa.

Mbotwa dismissed the nurses’ claim on issues of trainings and workshops saying they come with guidelines.

“We do not just go to trainings; they come with their own guidelines. Sometimes they will specify the cadre that has to go to training, I do not think someone would wake up and delete someone’s name and replace it someone who is not relevant in the training,” said Mbotwa.

On the issue of resting, the Nsanje DHO Health Promotion Officer said they will engage authorities at national level for guidance.

“It is true that the nurses and midwife technicians are rested for four days instead of five days per two-night shifts as indicated.

“In other districts they are applying the 5-day resting arrangement however we are operating within the stipulated guidelines” he said.

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