Mwanza District Hospital nurses and midwives have gone back to work following government’s assurance to resolve their grievances.
The medical workers, who staged a four-day sit-in, have since given the ministry two weeks to settle their grievances.
“They have promised us that they will deal with the issues in two weeks time and we have decided to respect that. But, if we see that nothing is changing after the stipulated time, we will lay down our tools again,” said one nurse, who opted for anonymity.
The nurses and midwives laid down their tools from Tuesday to Friday last week demanding the transfer of district health officer Ralph Piringu and district nursing officer Agnes Mtonga for allegedly ill-treating the nurses and failing to provide basic equipment.
They further claimed the hospital is facing a lot of challenges such as shortage of staff and food and lack of basic nursing tools such as writing and cleaning materials. They attribute the problems to poor management.
Last Tuesday, the striking nurses, hospital management, Ministry of Health and the National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives in Malawi (Nonm) officials failed to reach a consensus when they met over the issue.
According to the nurse, no meeting has been held since but discussions are going on over the phone.
Commenting on the matter in an earlier interview, Nonm executive director Dorothy Ngoma called on the ministry to resolve the nurses grievances by ensuring that their demands are met.
“The ministry must employ more nurses so that the current nurses are not over worked, and if they were forced to work on locum hours they have to be paid their locum allowances. I have no idea where government will find money from but these issues need to be resolved,” she said.
According to Ngoma, the problem of not having enough resources on the ground is greatly affecting service delivery in the country’s health facilities and government must find ways of ensuring such institutions are prioritised even in the course of financial challenges. n