Northern Nurses celebrate their day in Luwingu
Luwingu, May 11, ZANIS ———- Nurses and midwives in Northern Province joined their colleagues world over in commemorating the international nurse’s day under the theme “Closing the gap: Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”.
Speaking during the function held at the President’s park in Luwingu, Luwingu District Commissioner Mambwe Katontoka said government recognizes the nursing as the largest health care profession and that the nurses and midwives are the cornerstone to the achievement of the MDGs.
Mrs Katontoka said in contributing to the achievements of the MDGs, nurses have developed political skills that enable then to negotiate at every level and with various partners to shape and deliver appropriate services to the communities.
She said that the health related MDGs have helped to focus attention on the need for health system to be underpinned by robust financing mechanism.
“As government we realise that these are prerequisites if we are to meet the needs of our people and provide appropriate services when and where they are required. It is for this reason that we awarded nurses up 21 per cent salary increment,” she said.
Mrs Katontoka said her government has also increased budgetary allocation to the health sector in order for the sector to employ graduating nurses to man the health centres currently run by unskilled personnel.
She said the shortage of nurses and midwives in most health institutions in the province is one of the major challenges in attainment of health related MDGs resulting in most of the patients being attended to by unskilled personnel.
Mrs Katontoka said government is doing everything possible to ensure all health centres are manned by qualified personnel in order to meet the millennium development goals by 2015.
“My government has put in place measures to ensure that we have the right quantity (nurses-patient ratio) and quality of nurses in this country, although this will take many years to fill up the establishment,” she added.
Speaking earlier Zambia Union Nurses Organisation (ZUNO) Provincial Chairperson Starvelous Mulubwa said the International Nurses’ Day provides an opportunity to celebrate nursing and contributions that nurses make in improving the lives of many Zambians.
Mr Mulubwa said Zambia has made significant progress on the related MDGs and contributions that the nurses and midwives have made should not be ignored.
“Since the dawn of the MDGs, nurses and midwives have played a key role and have dedicated their efforts towards the achievements of these goals in our country. Some of these achievements are improving child health through active participation in children’s activities,” he said.
Mr Mulubwa said reducing child mortality rate, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases are among the achievements.
He said that nurses and midwives have been involved in screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV and providing of HIV/AIDS care and treatment to eligible patients.
And speaking at the same function Luwingu District Medical Officer Dr Ntumba Nkongolo said it is a known fact that most of the sick people are attended by nurses hence the need to recognise their day.
This year’s International Nurse’s Day was held in Luwingu district and nurses from Mporokoso, Chilubi, Kasama, Mbala, Mpulungu, Kaputa and Mungwi were in the district to celebrate their day.