Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor
Although Zimbabwe is among African countries suffering from brain drain in the health sector, there are still some nurses committed to serving the country.
These are among the 700 nurses from various disciplines who graduated this Friday from the Parirenyatwa Nursing School after undergoing training in various nursing disciplines which include general nursing and post-basic nursing.
Some of the post-graduate nurses with over ten years of experience in the nursing profession who graduated this Friday in post-basic nursing in various disciplines ranging from oncology to psychiatric nursing said their aim is to serve their country and strengthen the country’s health care system.
Mr Allan Hondo, an anaesthetic nurse told the ZBC News, “There are very few anaesthetic nurses in the country, that’s why I chose to specialise in this type of nursing so that I serve my people and not other countries. I have been a nurse in Zimbabwe for the past 10 years and I will continue working here.”
Beauty Mutetiwa, an oncology palliative nurse had the same sentiments, “Nursing is a calling and I was called to serve. So, I will continue serving my country. That is why I even went back to specialise in oncology palliative care nursing so that I help the sick in my country.”
A tutor, Ms Chiratidzo Munemo said, “I graduated in general nursing 20 years ago and since then, I have been working in Zimbabwe and also going for further training so that I continue to help my people here as well as train future nurses.”
Parirenyatwa School of Nursing according to the Group Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Aspect Maunganidze, is among the best in the world.
“Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals continues to be a centre of excellence and is therefore a hub for the training of health professions in Zimbabwe and the world over. This graduation is a clear testimony of our resilience and commitment to training for the future,” he said.
A Botswana national, Refilwe Mosau said, “I came to Zimbabwe for my post-basic training in intensive care and coronary nursing because I know that it’s one of the best schools on the continent and also because my country Botswana doesn’t have this particular course.”
The School of Nursing’s 39th graduation ceremony was presided over by the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro who was standing in for Vice President, General Rtd Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care.
“I am really proud that we have managed to ensure that big hospitals like Parirenyatwa have adequate nursing staff. This mega health institution alone has a nursing staff complement of 1 220 and 1123 are in post leaving a deficit of only 96. This small number is attributed to normal staff attrition due to retirements, deaths and resignations. My ministry will make sure that those vacancies are filled as a matter of urgency. My ministry is also making concerted efforts to retain our well-trained and experienced nurses. The health service commission is seized with this matter and this year alone, Treasury has assured us that all civil servants will have their grades and advancements regularised. The issue of non-monetary incentives remains unabated,” he said.
Of late, the country has witnessed an increase in the number of foreign students coming to Zimbabwe for specialised nurse training programmes of which Parirenyatwa Nursing School currently has a total of 12, a testimony of the country’s level of training and efficiency.