NONM Wants Salaries, Risk Allowances Revised Upwards
In the wake of the recent devaluation of the Kwacha and the fuel price hike, the National Organisation of Nurses and Midwifes of Malawi (NONM) has asked the government to revise upwards salaries and Covid-19 risk allowances for health workers.
NONM's Acting Executive Director Harriet Chiomba made the plea on Friday when the organisation together with Retired Nurses Interest Group donated 1,000 locally made reusable face masks to Thyolo District Hospital.
Chiomba told Zodiak Online that the recent 12 percent salary increment is far below the effected economic changes and the sharp rise in prices of commodities in the country.
Chiomba said in the wake of the recent devaluation of the Kwacha and the fuel price hike, life for health workers like any other civil servant is hard.
"As front liners we also need government to reconsider revising the risk allowances as well as salary increment. 12 percent increment against 25 percent devaluation? It’s not on.
"And also we are now talking of fuel hike. So we as nurses need government to revise Covid-19 risk allowances and increase salaries," she appealed.
Meanwhile, Thyolo District Hospital Senior Nursing Officer Barbara Husein Thembakako, indicated that the donation will go a long way in preventing the pandemic.
Thembakako said frontline workers need the PPPEs now that Covid-19 figures are increasing in the country.
"Today we are very happy that the NONM through the Retired Nurses have come to our rescue to show us some love by giving masks. As we all know that we are amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and the protection of the healthcare workers is very important for them to care for the people that need care.
"It will take us a long way being that these masks are reusable it will mean that we will save on the resources that we usually have, because the masks which we always keep are disposable ones," she said.
Through the African Action Network for Nurses and Midwifes project, NONM and the Retired Nurses Interest Group envisions to produce 21, 000 masks for distribution to frontline workers.
According to Chiomba, 21, 000 masks which are believed to have 95 percent efficacy, will be distributed to 1, 000 student nurses and midwifes in colleges, 5, 000 among themselves while 5, 500 would be sold for project sustainability.