Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Nurses arrive to work in Namibia
By: WANJA NJUGUNA
TWENTY-THREE nurses from different hospitals in Kenya and Lesotho have arrived in Windhoek to start a two year contract in various hospitals in Namibia.
The visibly tired but excited nurses were received by senior representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Namibia led by Namibia Chief Nursing Officer, Gloria Mubale, Kenya’s High Commissioner to Namibia Peter Gitau and Kenya’s third secretary Safari Mwambire. Welcoming the nurses, Gitau informed them that the Namibian Government was grateful to have them join other Kenyan nurses in the country many of whom have worked in Namibia for many years, to beef up the nursing services across the country. “Your coming to Namibia is the culmination of a visit in September, 2010 by the Minister for Medical Services of Kenya, Peter A. Ny’ong’o whereby Namibian Government asked for 100 nurses and 26 doctors to further facilitate and assist in this great nation’s advances in the medical industry,” Gitau said, adding that the current group was the first among the larger group expected in Namibia over the coming months. Gitau said that out of the meeting with the minister in 2010, a Joint Working Group (JWG) is being set up in order to incorporate the World Health Organisation’s global code of practice on international recruitment of health personnel and many other pertinent issues. The JWG will also improve the existing memorandum of understanding between the two governments to oversee the implementation of it. Currently a subcommittee has already been set up to work on draft terms of reference of the two governments as there is also need for lecturers in their medical institute. Despite the fact that Namibia has started training its medical personnel internally and externally, there is still a huge shortage of nurses and doctors and Kenya is helping to bridge the gap by exporting its resources to the country. On her part, an excited Mubale, told the team that their services were instrumental to assisting the country run its medical care effectively. “As you join other Kenyan nurses who have been here for a while, it is important that you remember first and foremost, your call as a nurse which is to serve those afflicted by various ailments, to do your work to the best of your ability and in return, our government will ensure that your working conditions are up to the standard that is expected of expatriate workers,” Mubale said. She added that Kenya has in the past few years played a key role in helping Namibia with human resources in various fields and the Namibia government is grateful for this gesture. Speaking on behalf of the nurses, Nandako Kalundu, a nurse from Bungoma hospital said the recruitment process had taken slightly over a year. “Many of us were informed by our colleagues and relatives already working here about the positions on the Namibia Public Service site and we applied. Though the recruitment takes a long time, it is very professionally handled,” Kalundu emphasized. She was grateful to Mubale who has continued to communicate with them as well as facilitate their smooth entry into the country. Kalundu, who has been a nurse for the past 20 years, emphasized the importance of the nurses living up to their calling wherever they will be posted. “We know we will work in some difficult areas but it is important that we remember our master is the patients that we care for and we should give them our e best,” she said. The 23 nurses join a team of over 100 nurses who have been working in different hospitals in Namibia for a number of years now. Kenya has the highest number of foreign nurses working in Namibia.