The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has presented a memento to Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation (ZUNO) in recognition of 2020 as the year of the Nurse and Midwife and the role the ZUNO played in supporting nurses during
the Covid 19 pandemic.
In a letter addressed to the ZUNO President Tisa Chiponda, ICN President Annette Kennedy, stated that the Covid 19 pandemic has shown the benefits of working together, sharing information and supporting each other.
The Memento in form of a unique coin and certificate was designed specially by one of ICNs’ past Board members, Kallooa Bagooaduth, a nurse and recognised artist in Mauritius.
The ICN President noted that although Covid 19 pandemic denied the nurses to commemorate the year 2020, the ICN could not let the designated year fade without acknowledging, not only the difficult year for nurses and midwives, but also remember nursing colleagues who lost their lives in the pandemic.
She said “The power is in strength of unity and purpose.” adding that nurses need to keep up the momentum in order to compel policy makers to invest in nursing and improve pay conditions.
And acknowledging receipt of the memento, the ZUNO President thanked ICN on behalf of Nurses and Midwives in Zambia. Mrs. Chiponda expressed gratitude stating that the memento is very significant and a reminder of unity exhibited by nurses and midwives during a very difficult time.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) designated the year 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” which also happened to be the Bicentenary of Florence Nightingale, the architect of modern nursing.
ZUNO General Secretary Mr. Fray Michelo has reiterated the organisations’ steadfast commitment to advocating for the creation of vacant positions through the promotion of employees currently in service. “As a responsible and proactive union, we have actively pursued the pending administrative issues arising from the 2022/23 Collective Bargaining process with the Government.” He said.
Mr. Michelo stated that since the signing of the 2023 Collective Agreement with Government, ZUNO has been at the forefront of facilitating dialogue and engagement with Ministry of Health, in conjunction with the Public Service Management Division (PSMD). Our primary focus has been to address critical issues such as promotions and other related administrative matters.
“The matter of promotions and recruitment holds immense significance for our members who have demonstrated unwavering dedication and commitment to their roles within the Ministry of Health.” He said adding that the Ministry of Health through the Honourable Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo should be applauded for being fully consultative on this matter by engaging ZUNO and all stakeholders representing diverse cadres within the ministry. Mr. Michelo said the move will better pave the way for recruitment of the much-needed human resource for health.
He stated that ZUNO’s overarching goal is to ensure the establishment of fair and equitable promotion policies that champion meritocracy and provide our members with the opportunity to advance in their careers. “We firmly believe that recognizing and rewarding excellence will not only bolster employee morale and motivation but also enhance the overall effectiveness of the Ministry of Health in fulfilling its vital mandate of providing quality healthcare services to our citizens.” Mr. Michelo added.
“ZUNO remains dedicated to fostering an environment of collaboration, understanding, and constructive dialogue as opposed to protests on matters that can be resolved through due process.” He stated adding that ZUNO shall continue to serve as a beacon of advocacy, championing the rights and interests of the nurses and midwives.
Nurses and Midwives are essential in promoting and maintaining the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Working collaboratively with other healthcare professionals, they ensure that patients receive the best possible care and that the health of the population is improved. This video https://youtu.be/XgpE9d6Ph0s courtesy of the Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation briefly highlights how Nurses in Zambia are contributing towards improving the health of the population.
The Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation (ZUNO) has echoed the concern raised by the office of the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary regarding the different types of uniforms being worn by Nurses and Midwives.
ZUNO General Secretary Mr. Fray Michelo stated that ZUNO fully supports the use of proper nurses’ and midwives’ uniforms as the dress code serves several important functions in the healthcare industry.
Mr. Michelo said the functions of a proper uniform include; identification, infection control, distinguish Nurses and Midwives from other healthcare professionals, comfort and safety.
He further stated that proper nurses and midwives’ uniforms instill confidence in patients and their families, ensuring patient safety and comfort, as well as maintaining a professional image for Nurses and Midwives.
The Secretary General stated that ZUNO does not support the use of improper dress code among Nurses and Midwives whether they are in full service or training. He said this included the wearing of unconventional hairstyles, long and artificial nails, and short and tight uniforms.
He further urged all Nurses and Midwives to adhere to the stipulated guidelines on dress code and uniform as it is essential to maintaining a professional and safe healthcare environment
Meanwhile Mr. Michelob has expressed disappointment with the Zambian Governments’ failure to procure and distribute full uniforms to Nurses and Midwives for over ten years, despite them being among the state uniformed officers, thereby leaving room for Nurses and Midwives to procure the uniforms using their own resources.
He said the nursing and midwifery profession have guidelines for the dress code and description of specific uniforms for the different categories of nurses and midwives, and that the Government has the responsibility to provide the uniforms for those serving in the public sector while ensuring timely distribution.
He urged Government to provide the prescribed full specific uniform for the different categories of Nurses and Midwives without further delay as well as improve supervision on the clinical area to ensure that the laid guidelines are adhered to.
The Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation (ZUNO), has congratulated President Mr. Hakainde Hichilema and Vice President Mrs. Mutale Nalumango for emerging victorious following the 12 August 2021 general elections.
ZUNO General Secretary Mr. Fray Michelo reaffirmed the organisation’s commitment to the vision of having an empowered nurse and midwife who is motivated and able to continuously uphold professional excellence, further expressing hope that the in-coming government shared the same vision.
“We are aware that the United Party for National Development (UNPD) manifesto places unity, equity and the provision of universal access to quality healthcare high on the agenda. ZUNO is therefore hopeful that the welfare of nurses and midwives will be given priority.” He said.
Mr. Michelo encouraged Mr. Hakainde Hichilema who is now the 7th President of Republic of Zambia and Vice President Mrs. Mutale Nalumango to pursue policies that will progress and benefit the health sector, as a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.
He pledged ZUNO’s support for the new Governments’ efforts to further improve healthcare delivery while, ensuring accountability, adding that ZUBO looks forward to working with new administration and Minister to be appointed in-charge of Health
“We believe prioritising health financing is key to improving healthcare delivery in our country. ZUNO further looks forward to the reformation of the national health insurance system to ensure that all eligible citizens experience the benefits.” He stated.
Mr. Michelo further wished the President and Vice President a successful term of service to the nation of Zambia.