Belinda Moyo, Sunday News Reporter
NURSES must work towards improving the quality of the health in the country as a healthy nation can fully and properly participate in its economic turnaround, an official has said.
Speaking during the Ingutsheni Central Hospital Psychiatrist nurse graduation held at the institution in Bulawayo on Friday, Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Cde Raji Modi said nurses must be committed to their work.
“Remember that, the mainstay for any economy is its human resources. No country can develop when the nation is unhealthy. Zimbabwe’s current vision aims at making the country a middle income economy by 2030 and you have a contribution to make. The ministry is counting on you to be the best ever service to be given to our mental health patients. You are entering a new phase of your lives at a time when the world health delivery systems are also changing in ways that demand from each of you, each one of us, to think and act differently about psychiatric nursing,” he said.
Cde Modi said the Ministry of Health and Child Care must consider extending mental health services to community level so as to ensure a decrease in the number of people admitted at mental institutions.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care in its National Strategic Plan (2016-2020) made emphasis on strengthening mental health services. These services must be made available at the community level as envisaged in the primary healthcare approach. This will prevent and reduce the number of re-admissions to the mental institutions and ensure that rehabilitative programmes are extended to the community level,” he said.
The annual graduation saw 60 nurses graduating as Registered Mental Nurses.
In a side interview, Ingutsheni Central Hospital chief executive officer Mr Ernest Manyawu said as an institution they take pride in being the only institution that trains Registered Mental Health Nurses in Zimbabwe and in the East and Southern Africa region.
“We are very happy that the Government has recognised the importance of training staff who are specialised in mental health and we take pride as Ingutsheni for being the only institution that trains registered mental health nurses in Zimbabwe and East and Southern Africa region. We are very happy that the Government is so much in support of the training initiative. In 2019 we will include our training programme for post basic students from the Sadc region so that in addition to providing mental health trained nurses for Zimbabwe we also assist the region,” he said.
He said the country has a general shortage of mental health nurses hence the importance of the training more.
“There is general shortage of mental health nurses in the developing countries, Zimbabwe included. We have about 0,8 nursing health staff per thousand in the Sadc region. This as well affects us as an institution as there is basically a shortage in mental health staff. However, we have come up with ways of dealing with that and sufficiently deliver our services, we task shift and are committed in doing more as per delivering services,” he said.