Retired Nurses Called On Board, Citizens Question Government’s Ability To Reward.
Citizens have urged the government to consider paying retired nurses whom they wish to recruit to help accelerate vaccine rollout and alleviate current shortages in health staff at clinics and hospitals.
A survey carried out by Community Radio Harare (CORAH) in the past weeks yielded that the Ministry of Health and Child Care had come up with this solution after a series of complaints from citizens who were being turned away unattended at some clinics as the health staff are out-numbered and with few available nurses administering the vaccine.
Health Services Board chairman Dr Paulinus Sikhosana confirmed that in order for the country to reach herd immunity, the ministry is reaching out to registered retired nurses compiled in their database who are mostly above 65 years of age. The retired nurses will be serving at vaccination points while the rest nurses will attend to patients seeking other health care services.
Harare residents who spoke to CORAH expressed concern at the government’s ability to maintain a healthy relationship with the retired nurses seeing the current health staff are already struggling to get the reward of their sweat.
Harare residents went on to ask government to put in place plans on how they are going to pay these registered retired nurses before recruiting them back and guarantee a smooth flow of vaccination roll-out whilst ordinary patients are being attend to.
Despite the availability and continuous purchase of vaccines, the country has been struggling to meet the set target for vaccinations due to understaffing. Some centres are only giving COVID-19 doses to a limited number of people leaving desperate residents unvaccinated.
Deputy for Health and Child Care Ministry Dr John Mangwiro said health staff are on demand as the pace at which vaccines are being rolled out must go hand in hand with the procurement.
“So far, we have distributed 5,3 million vaccine doses and we have another 1,5 million doses in stock. We are also expecting 1,5 million jabs in the next two weeks and these deliveries will continue until we have received the 12 million doses that have been paid for,” said Dr Mangwiro.
The ministry of health and child care in Zimbabwe has so far managed to distribute a total of 5,3 million vaccine doses with the country having administered over 3 million doses for both first and second.