(Lusaka, 24th February, 2020) – A Lusaka based nurse has called on Zambians to build a culture of celebrating nurses’ contribution to the health sector. Texila American University Head of Nursing Margaret Mpundu says prejudices and wrong beliefs that are held against nurses cause the general public to lean towards having a negative attitude towards nurses and the profession in general. She said the contribution of nurses to the health sector cannot be downplayed especially with the current shortage of over 200,000 nurses. Ms Mpundu attributed the deficit to population growth and inadequate training facilities to cater to demand.
Ms Mpundu said that the year 2020 is the year of the Nurse and Midwife and the role that nurses play in the health sector should be celebrated. She bemoaned the number of complaints leveled against nurses in comparison to appreciation. Ms Mpundu said nurses are overwhelmed on most days, and the general lack of appreciation from patients only makes their work much harder. She however encouraged nurses to not take out their frustration on patients. She further urged nurses to seek ways to relieve themselves of the everyday stress that comes with their work. She also encouraged nurses to celebrate who they are and the contribution they bring to the health industry by highlighting their roles and how valuable they are.
Ms Mpundu has also commended government efforts in bringing career progression in the nursing profession. She said government has made strides at encouraging nurses to seek further studies which is beneficial to the profession. She however said more should be done to motivate nurses, such as salaries that are reflective of their level of education, experience and general input.
Ms Mpundu was speaking in an interview at Texila American University TAU main campus in Lusaka. TAU recently introduced Bachelor’s in Nursing and Diploma in Nursing courses. The courses are in line with TAU’s mandate to bring quality education in the health sector and result in contributing to governments efforts to attain the milestone of curbing the shortage of human resource for health capital development. Zambia’s Vision 2030 and National Health Strategic Plan 2017-2021 is to have a nation of healthy people and the mission is to provide equitable access to quality, safe, and cost-effective medical facility for all. The attainment of such a vision requires a robust health care workforce to deliver the service.
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