Nurses down tools, demand safety amid COVID-19 outbreak

Nurses at Kamuzu Central (KCH) and Bwaila hospitals in Lilongwe on Saturday downed their tools as one way of forcing government to provide them with risk allowances and protective wear amid corona virus pandemic.

One of the health practitioners at KCH who spoke on a condition of anonymity confirmed the development to YFM online.

The decision by the health workers to down their tools was arrived at a meeting with their mother organization, National Organization for Nurses and Midwives (NONM), which was held on Friday, April 10, after government failed to listen to their demands despite several engagements on the same.

The practitioner who spoke to YFM online said since the morning of Saturday there were no nurses at the hospital and they have vowed not to resume their duties unless government address their demands.

“We are not attending to any referrals including neonates until the situation is resolved,” he emphasised.

Currently, KCH pediatrics ward has closed its outpatient department.

But when contacted, spokesperson for the Ministry of health, Joshua Malango, said he is not aware of the issue.

On April 7 NONM wrote the District Commissioners and Hospital Directors saying “we need to emphasize that as communicated to the Ministry, the intended withdrawal is not a strike but withdrawal for health and safety reasons within the meaning of section 2 of the Labour Relations Act”.

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