Nurses in public hospitals across the country have cancelled a scheduled strike following a timely response from President Joyce Banda.
Apparently to meet the 48-hour ultimatum the National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives (Nonm), issued to the President on Monday, Banda on Wednesday sacked chairperson of Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi Dr Grace Chiudzu.
Nonm president Abraham Jonathan Gama said in an interview yesterday the strike has been suspended because the President responded to key demands his organisation raised.
The organisation, which accused the council of impeding on a presidential directive that the upgrading programme of nurse midwife technicians to State registered nurses should start by January this year, said the President has fired the Council’s board chairperson.
Gama said the President has also created two spaces in the council’s board for members from Nonm and Association of Midwives of Malawi.
“The main issue responded to is a directive from the President that the upgrading training of nurse midwife technicians to State registered nurses must start upon completion of all arrangements,” Gama said.
He said it was after the President’s reaction that they found no reason to proceed with the strike.
Nurses in the country on Monday marched and petitioned the President, demanding resignation of the board of the Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi.
The council, however, said it was not going to bow down to pressure from the union to implement a one-year upgrading programme when a similar two-year programme is underway at the Malawi College of Health Sciences (MCHS) Blantyre campus as other colleges were not ready to roll out.
The President directed in February 2013 that the programme must be rolled out within six months, but the council failed to implement that.