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Nonm lobbies for NMT phase out

The National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (NONM) has expressed the need for government to consider phasing out Nurse-Midwife Technician (NMT) cadre while in the process advocating for career progression and professionalization of nurses and midwives to become Registered Nurse (RN).

Nonm President, Shouts Simeza said during and interface meeting with members of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Thursday that Malawi is the only country in the region training NMTs because other countries phased-out the process.

“We would like to plead with you our Members of Parliament to kindly table in Parliament our proposal to amend the law governing the nursing profession. We are quite optimistic that you can deliberate this in the next seating of Parliament,” said Simeza.

According to Simeza, it is the wish of Nonm that all nursing and midwifery training in Malawi should start at RN Diploma.

He said if this is implemented, it will help Malawi meet international standards of RNs, which is in line with the International Council of Nurses (ICN).

“It should be noted that Nurse-Midwife Technicians (NMT) are not recognized internationally as nurses or midwives in terms of professionalism and provision of quality patient care yet they are the backbone of Malawi’s health care delivery system,” said Simeza.

He added, “quality will be improved because of enhanced knowledge and skills gained through the RN programme either generic or when NMTs upgrade.Further,the majority of nurses and midwives will be motivated resulting into retention”.

In response Chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Juliana Lunguzi said the proposal by Nonm is a welcome development since NMTs equally do a similar job as RNs hence recognizing them will improve the profession.

“In this case, it is critical that the Curriculum for nursing and midwifery profession be changed and institutions offer RN training.

As a Committee we will engage the Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi to work with Parliament in this process of changing the law,” said Lunguzi who is also a State Registered Nurse and Midwife.

Meanwhile, a member of the committee and Parliamentarian for Mulanje Bale, Victor Musowa said he will move a private motion bill on the same during the next seating of Parliament.

On the other hand, Rumphi West Parliamentarian, Jacqueline Kouwenhoven, another nurse and midwifery professional said she will support Musowa on the motion.