Zim bottleneck system in nursing training backfires;midwives shortages rise

By Staff Writer

TIGHTLY controlled nurse training system in Zimbabwe continues to work against the health system following revelations the country is experiencing critical shortages of midwives.

Already saddled with the migration of thousands of nurses who are being absorbed by the United Kingdom and other countries .

To this end, official records show that more than 4,000 health workers, including more than 2,600 nurses, left Zimbabwe in 2021 and 2022, according to official statistics. Traditional destinations include Canada, Australia and Britain where the starting salary for a nurse is about £28,400..

Traditional destinations include Canada, Australia and Britain where the starting salary for a nurse is about £28,400 ($34,490).The World Health Organization has since added Zimbabwe to a “red list” of countries with pressing health worker shortage.

However,some health experts have castigated the government for maintaining a tight leash on nursing training in the country as a major setback like to plunge thie country into a trained health workers deficit.

Health and Child Care deputy minister Sleiman Timios Kwidini this week’s revelations in the Senate painted a very gloomy picture for the country.

“The government has got a shortage of these midwives, but as the ministry, we are targeting to double the health workforce by 2030 such that these challenges that are being faced by our pregnant mothers are reduced,” Kwidini said.

“We now have these village health workers who actually now are encouraged to give health education to expecting pregnant mothers so that they visit or they book with their antenatal care clinics and when they go to these nearest rural health centres, they are attended to by nurses who are there to advise them properly.

“In the case that their pregnancies require special attention, they will be advised to go to nearby hospitals where they can get specialised treatment.”

Kwidini acknowledged the poor working conditions of health workers.
In terms of remuneration, yes, the government is also working towards encompassing each and every health worker or civil servant in government such that this job is done as a team,” he said.

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