IT was joy and excitement for nurses in Zanzibar over the weekend, as they gathered to celebrate the ‘International Nurse Day (IND) officiated by President Hussein Mwinyi, who in his speech, directed the Ministry of Health and other respective bodies to resolve challenges facing the cadre.
At the colorful event, the nurses, through their leader, Ms Saida Kheri Hamad raised various concerns, saying that despite improving the working environment lack of allowances for uniforms and in-charge or supervision; shortage of nurses; and lack of support for further studies/higher learning, frustrate their perfomance.
In response, President Mwinyi directed the Health Ministry authorities led by Deputy Minister Mr Hassan Hafidh Khamis to allocate funds for nurses’ uniforms as it is within their reach.
Dr Mwinyi also directed respective authorities to ensure nurses get scholarships for further studies, while the government continues to improve the working environment in all hospitals and other health facilities, promising to increase the number of nurses by employing others in the next financial year.
“We appreciate the role being played by the nurses, and thanks to volunteers in the profession. I am happy to learn that nurses have been provided with guidelines, let us support them including providing them with opportunities to undergo further education,” he urged.
The deputy minister Mr Khamis praised the nurses for the good work and the President for his efforts in improving health care services in the Isles
Chairperson, Zanzibar Nurse Association (ZANA) Dr Rukia Rajab also promised to take serious action against nurses abusing the cadre.
“We no longer want to hear complaints from people we serve, let us change our behaviours. People blame some of us for being rude,” Ms Rukia said, emphasizing that if they (nurses) perform well and observe ethics, even the government will be motivated to solve their challenges and involve them in decision-making bodies as advised by the International Council of Nurses (ICNs).
She said that nurses are in a better position to contribute to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that they need to support each other, including making more effort into serving people.
The theme for International Nurses Day 2023 is – “Our nurses, our future.”
Before the climax , which is celebrated every May 12th, the nurses had week-long activities to celebrate the day, which included increasing public awareness on communicable and non-communicable diseases; cervical cancer; promoting the importance of breastfeeding; family planning; and media programmes to discourage use of illicit drugs and gender based violence.