By Thandeka Moyo
More people from the southern region have been added to lists of student nurses enrolled last week at two Bulawayo hospitals after claims that more than 90 percent of the recruits were from Harare and its surrounding provinces.
The southern region is made up of Bulawayo, Masvingo, Midlands, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces. Statistics from the Ministry of Health and Child Care show that students from Harare province still dominate recruitment even after the additions.
The 13 nursing schools in the region recruited 34 percent of their students from the capital, Bulawayo contributed 20 percent, Masvingo 6.3 percent, Midlands 8.4 percent while two percent each were enrolled from Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces.
Statistics from the northern region which includes Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central provinces were not availed for comparison.
The 13 hospitals that enrolled students in the southern region are Tsholotsho and St Luke’s in Matabeleland North, Mashoko, Gutu, Morgenster, Masvingo and Musiso in Masvingo Province and St Theresa and Muronde from Midlands.
“Thirteen nursing schools from the southern region recruited a total of 238 students and Bulawayo Province contributed 20.1 percent of the total. These schools include Mpilo Central Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) under Bulawayo province,” the analysis revealed.
“For Mpilo, no student was recruited from either Matabeleland North or South. Harare dominated the list with 10, followed by Bulawayo with 6 and then Midlands with 5.”
However, sources from the Ministry of Health and Child Care alleged that seven students were added to the list at Mpilo Central Hospital on Tuesday night following an outcry over the selection. Three were allegedly added to the list at UBH.
According to the analysis, UBH only recruited one student each from Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South but 10 from Harare. Only four are from Bulawayo and Midlands also contributed.
“St Anne’s Hospital in Brunapeg, Mangwe recruited no students from Matabeleland South or North provinces. Gwanda hospital also in the same region recruited zero students from Matabeleland South where it is located just like St Luke’s Hospital. The mission hospital in Lupane only got one student from Matabeleland North,” the document shows.
Contacted for comment, Mrs Cynthia Chasokela, the director of nursing services in the Ministry, said she was out of office and referred questions to the ministry.
Comments could not be obtained from the Ministry.
The Health and Child Care Ministry recently introduced an online nurses’ application forum after investigations by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission concluded there were unacceptable levels of bribery in the old system.
Students from the southern region have claimed that they are always told to apply to hospitals in their region when they try to get places in the northern region.
The Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Cde Judith Ncube has pledged to engage responsible authorities to resolve the recent recruitment of student nurses in Bulawayo.
She made the commitment after some people engaged her on Wednesday. The Chronicle