THE Tanzania National Nurses Association (Tanna) has appealed to the government to recruit more nurses and midwives to address personnel shortages at public health facilities across the country.
This is according to Tanna Vice-President Ramadhan Mgoo, who appealed to the government while he was briefing reporters at Mazwi Health Centre in Sumbawanga, Rukwa Region, at the weekend.
He said there were shortages of nurses and midwives at many health centres in the country. He explained that a nurse had to attend to between 50 and 60 patients per day, against the standard ratio of one nurse to eight patients (1:8) per day.
Mr Mgooo appealed to the government to recruit more nurses and midwives to mitigate the shortages as there are more than 10,000 nurses, who had graduated during the past three years.
“This will address the shortages facing public health facilities across the country. Having enough nurses and midwives with manageable workload is paramount to ensure efficiency and effectiveness,” he said.
Citing the case of Mazwi health facility he had visited, Mr Mgoo said one nurse was attending to 20 expectant women (1:20) against the standard ratio.
"I toured the health facility whose buildings are superb, including the maternity ward, as expectant women and those who had delivered each had her own bed, but the shortcoming is the shortages of nurses and midwives,” he added.
The government last year issued 500m/- which was spent on the expansion and renovation of the facility to improve the provision of health services, which subsequently attracted patients from as far as neighbouring Songwe Region and Lake Rukwa Rift Valley Basin.
According to reports from the facility, it is receiving 1,000 patients per day, which is too high compared to the number of health workers at the facility.
Mr Mgoo urged nurses and midwives across the country to abide by professional ethics and code of conduct.