Ministry of Health (MoH) says it expects the promotion of 11 medical specialists to chief specialists to motivate their colleagues locally and abroad to work harder in serving Malawians.
MoH spokesperson Joshua Malango said this week when he confirmed that President Peter Mutharika approved the recognition and appointment of the specialists for outstanding services in their work posts across the country.
The specialists were promoted from principal specialists in grade P4 of the civil service to chief specialists in grade P2. Promotions beyond P4 in the civil service structure are directed by the Head of State.
The promoted specialists are Jonathan Ngoma, Suzgo Sam Mzumara, Richard Nyasosela, Amos Nyaka, Phylos Bonongwe, Jessie Mlotha, Queen Mbeye, Martha Kabudula Makwero, Samson Mndolo, Tilinde Tchokoto and Singatiya Chikumbanje.
In the interview, Malango said: “Government has three pillars of hard work, integrity and patriotism and, therefore, continues to recognise such individuals. The promotions are not new.
“The government has been doing this not only in the Ministry of Health and Population, but also in many other ministries. But it is probably the first time that so many specialists have been promoted at once as justified by the fact that there are more Malawian doctors being trained and working in Malawi now.”
He said Malawi now needs more specialists, including in some centres of excellence, such as the yet-to-open National Cancer Centre, the Mercy James Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and the Dental School Project, in the face of growing needs for specialist services like plastic surgery and neurosurgery.
He said: “We need to have home-grown experts to take up those responsibilities.”
Malango said the promoted specialists will remain in their work stations, but would be given guidelines under the government’s Continued Professional Development Policy.
One of the promoted specialists, Nyaka, a Lilongwe-based eye surgeon whom we located on Saturday among a team of specialists providing emergency services to flood-hit people in the Lower Shire valley, said he feels humbled and motivated by the promotion.
Last October, The Nation published a human-interest story that highlighted the boldness and creativity of Nyaka who did not panic when a power blackout occurred while he was carrying out a delicate eye operation. Power outages had become a worrying problem across the country then.
The surgeon calmly asked one of the aides in the theatre to switch on his mobile phone torch and trail the light on the operation table. He completed the operation successfully.
Immediate past chairperson of the parliamentary Committee on Health, Juliana Lunguzi, and Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) executive director George Jobe both welcomed the government’s move to promote the large group of deserving specialists, saying these have much work cut out for them across the country.