Stop the flight of health workers

The Chronicle

Stephen Mpofu

While illegal and draconian Western sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe to kill any brave new economic destiny to remove the Zanu-PF from power in retaliation for the introduction of land reform – under which farms were taken over from some whites and redistributed to Zimbabweans who needed the assets more – Covid-19 became a gateway to the flight of frontline workers from health care delivery and as such a worsening of the general conditions of life in our beloved country.

As things stand, the economic embargo has had a telling effect on the economy, but the revolutionary party led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa continues despite everything, and thanks to the absolute patriots who anchor it with the help of our all-time friends in the East who have further demonstrated their unwavering support for this country with huge supplies of vaccines to fight the coronavirus pandemic that is rampaging through the global village and littering the graves in its wake.

Now, economic resilience aside, Zimbabwe is educationally and to some extent professionally a human supermarket on the African continent and therefore a major attraction for overseas buyers of highly skilled personnel who crave greener pastures.

To this end, a brain drain is reported to be depleting frontline health workers in our hospitals with Bulawayo’s Mpilo Central Hospital and UBH losing nurses and doctors to overseas countries. sea, with Britain being among the European countries poaching our professionals, so retired former nurses have had to be called back to fill the vacancies created by those who have left.

“They are gone and they are leaving,” said a hospital insider, who asked not to be named.

Salaries paid in local currency are apparently a major driver of the reported exodus of healthcare workers from hospitals across the country with the US dollar and British pound preferred as wages by deceased employees who are also said to have complained about the equipment of inadequate protection with which they work but without specification mentioned in this case by health insiders.

[It is common knowledge that people in southern parts of Zimbabwe prefer to do business with the South African rand and the American dollar, apparently because they can easily use those currencies when buying goods in countries across our border where the bond is not preferred.]

The healthcare delivery insiders mentioned above went further and said that some healthcare workers who left Zimbabwe have sought temporary employment in neighboring countries from where they “easily find their way to the ‘Europe where people are now reluctant to train as nurses for fear of Covid-19 so that Zimbabwean nurses and other foreigners are frontline workers there’.

The reported exodus of health care providers, which probably affects more hospitals in the country than is currently known, obviously calls for a rapid intervention by the powers that be in order to stabilize the situation and save lives, in particular now with the deadliest variant, Omicron, on the upsurge – and for all that humanity doesn’t yet know about coronavirus mutations, there could be more annihilating waves than Omicron and for which More protective rescue measures than the World Health Organization’s social distancing protocols, disinfection, hand washing and avoiding large gatherings and crowds will be imperative to save lives.

No immediate comment could be obtained from the Ministry of Health before going to press on additional measures to WHO protocols which the government considers life guarantees against any deadly variant of the coronavirus.

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