By Mc Donald Chapalapata, a Contributor
Malawian nurses living and working in the United Kingdom (UK) have formed as association which will facilitate sourcing of medical equipment, training nursing personnel to provide advanced treatments and facilitate exchange programmes among other issues.
Malawi UK Nurses Association (MUNA) Interim President Charity Gladstone said in an interview yesterday that the nurses acknowledge that their emigration to the UK created a ‘brain drain’ in the country and it is time to give back to mother Malawi.
“Following acknowledgement that our emigration created a brain drain in Malawi, it is our wish to give back to mother Malawi. This cannot be fulfilled financially but can be achievable through utilization of the vast collective experience and skills of nurses in diaspora. We would therefore like to engage and demonstrate this in real practical terms,” said Gladstone.
She said MUNA members are specialized and experienced in different fields and would like to harness the expertise and be involved in education and training in specialist areas such renal, critical care, oncology and others.
The association was founded in June 2020 and will be virtually launched in October 2020, according to Gladstone.
She said MUNA interim executive members had a virtual meeting with Malawi’s Deputy High Commissioner in the UK Quent Kalichero last week to present their objectives.
Among those that attended the meeting include Gladstone as Interim President, Patrick Vundule Interim Vice President and Trustees Dr. Emma Malewezi, Joyce Mbwana, Charlotte Kamundi, Lusekelo Chirwa and Brenda Malinki.
“We appreciate that our health system is on its knees. Two former heads of state died in a foreign land. If the head of state cannot be nursed in Malawi what does that say about the health system? A large percentage of Malawians cannot afford to go abroad for treatment and the majority of people are lacking basic health care.”
“It is our wish amongst other things to help facilitate sourcing of medical equipment, training nursing personnel to provide advanced treatments, sponsor students, facilitate exchange programmes and also encourage governance in hospitals. Our team has Matrons, academics, managers, most importantly committed nurses,” explained Gladstone.
She also said MUNA aspires to participate in publicising and protecting Malawi’s heritage by promoting tourism in Malawi and offer evidence-based advice and signpost stakeholders to the relevant health system agencies in matters related to Malawi.
Ministry of Health Spokesperson Joshua Malango welcomed the formation of the association saying there a lot of challenges facing the health sector.
“If we have people who would like to mitigate the challenges that we are facing in the health sector, it is a welcome development. We are ready to guide them where there is urgent need. We applaud their efforts and we hope others will emulate the good example set by these nurses in the UK,” said Malango.