The Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) said there was about one nurse for every 1,000 people in Swaziland when the World Health Organisation recommended the figure should be five.
SWADU delivered a petition to the Prime Minister’s Office. SWADNU President Bheki Mamba told local media that if government did not respond to the demands the association would shut down hospitals and clinics.
The Times of Swaziland reported Mamba saying there was a gross shortage of nurses in the country and the nurses had to put up with long hours.
The petition read in part, ‘On shortage of nurses, the government of Swaziland must improve the number of skilled nurses from the 1:1000 ratio to at least 5:1000 as per the recommendation of the World Health Organisation.
‘Government must immediately create posts for nurses to curb the shortage in the medium run. It should also reduce the vacancy rate of the established posts to zero by employing all nurses who have just qualified as we are of the view that there are no supplies constrains in nursing in the country.’
Last week, Environmental health officers in Swaziland threatened to strike if they did not get a salary review and increased overtime payments.
SWAZI HEALTH OFFICERS’ STRIKE THREAT