LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)- About 501 out of 669 Nursing Technicians students at Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) colleges who sat the Nurses Council of Malawi examination failed the October 2016 examination; and that means only 168 passed.
This represents 25 % passing rate and that 75% failed the yard stick of the Council’s requirement to become qualified nursing and midwifery technicians.
The development comes at a time Malawi needs about 40,000 nurses and midwives to accommodate the population of about 17 million Malawians.
But the affected technicians have blamed the Council for deliberately failing them. The failed students are claiming that it was a conspiracy to do away with the diploma holders so that only those holding degrees should practice.
“It’s surprising that CHAM colleges have only registered a 25% pass rate in the nursing and midwifery technician category, yet this is the group that carried out crucial work in areas shunned by the majority of health workers.
“I suspect that there is a deliberate move by the government to throw nurses holding diplomas out of the system because it does not want to employ nurses”, lamented one of the affected nurses from Trinity College in Phalombe district.
The Council’s Register Isabel Musisi, described the development as discouraging considering the demand for trained health personnel in public hospitals across the nation.
Musisi admitted that the passing rate in CHAM colleges is very poor compared to other health learning institutions.
“Out of 958 students from CHAM colleges sat for the October 2016 examinations, 398 passed, representing a 42 percent pass rate. The results are discouraging but the Council is working on the challenges to ensure that next time the group should reach 95% pass rate”, said Musisi.
Echoing the same, National Organization of Nurses and Midwives President Dorothy Ngoma said the development comes amid huge shortage of health workers in the country.
Ngoma however disputed claims that the results were as a result of a conspiracy to frustrate CHAM students. She pointed out that learning equipment in the colleges are inadequate.
“There are not enough inspectors and even the students themselves are a problem. There are many that cannot write or speak in English, so how can they pass? It is not true to say it’s a political move because last time I saw their scripts, they were poor,” Ngoma said.
Currently, the country has about 12,000 nurses and only 5,000 work in public institutions representing 60 % shortage.