The Zambia Union of Nurses Organization (ZUNO) has urged the Ministry of Health to ensure that all health workers are adequately prepared on best practice guidelines when dealing with patients who may be infected with the Coronavirus.
ZUNO General Secretary Fray Michelo noted that Nurses and Midwives play a vital role in healthcare delivery; hence the organization would not want to witness what has happened in some countries where nurses are over-stretched and their physical and psychological wellbeing compromised.
“We are aware that the Ministry of Health is currently orienting nurses on best practice guidelines when dealing with patients who may be infected, which is encouraging. We therefore urge Government through the Ministry of Health to further ensure that all members of the health team are adequately prepared,” Mr. Michelo said.
Mr. Michelo stated that the Ministry should ensure that there is availability of personal protective equipment for nurses and midwives that may be working in close contact with infected patients.
He added that despite nursing being a risky profession, the organization will continue to closely monitor the situation within and around the country, to ensure that nurses are not exposed to unnecessary risk.
“ZUNO urges the Ministry of Health to ensure that there is availability of personal protective equipment for nurses and midwives that may be working in close contact with infected patients. We therefore urge the ministry to guarantee that necessary equipment is well stocked and distributed,” he added.
He proposed that identified sites for treatment remain isolated and that the nurses working in such areas are provided with accommodation within the sites to avoid exposing their family and community members.
“Further incentives should be provided to the nurses and midwives who will be working in these sites,” Mr. Michelo stated.
Meanwhile, Mr. Michelo said the organization is concerned about the country’s borders that are still open adding that although restriction has been imposed on all foreign travel, it will be best to keep the infection at bay as much as possible by closing borders with countries that are currently considered high risk.
Yesterday, Health Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya announced at a media briefing that Zambia has recorded its first two cases of the Coronavirus.