Author Topic: Malawi Blood Transfusion Service fires six nurses over lunch allowances  (Read 637 times)

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Idowu Olabode

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Six nurses at the Malawi Blood Transfusion Service (MBTS) have been unfairly dismissed for protesting against the failure to provide them lunch allowances during blood collection clinics.

Meanwhile, National Organization of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (NONMM) has commenced  legal action against MBTS amid reports that the institution sells blood to its sick employees despite collecting it for free from good willing Malawians.

NONMM official Harriet Chiomba and legal counsel Mauya Msuku confirmed of the development.

“I have been given instructions to commence legal action against MBTS over the dismissal of the said nurses,” Msuku told Nyasa Times.

Chiomba while confirming the issue refused to divulge more details considering that it is now in legal realm.

MBTS Managing Director doctor Bridon M’baya referred the issue to the institution’s Public Relations Officer Allen Kaombe who, for days now, has failed to respond to Nyasa Times’ questionnaire despite several phone reminders.

Information in Nyasa Times possession reveals that MBTS defied NONMM- non-governmental and professional organization representing nurses and midwives- demands for a round-table discussion to resolve the allowance disputes.

For years drivers and nurses have been complaining of not being given lunch allowances despite working overtime and during weekends although MBTS gets funding from various donors including government for its blood collection and safety activities.

Our investigations found out that MBTS has became a centre of employees’ rights infringement, and two months ago nurses, after they failed to push for change, sought NONMM’s intervention. The institution has 16 nurses.

The nurses and other disgruntled employees have been seeking for lunch allowances of any amount but their concerns have been falling on deaf ears as the managing director and his team has been refusing to give in to their demands.

And weeks ago, few selected employees including the six nurses were summoned for disciplinary hearing where they were accused of insubordination.

“We were supposed to answer yes or no if we are accepting the charge of insubordination. We were not allowed to explain or ague. This is an institution we are being forced to pay for blood when we are sick and are in need of it,” revealed one of the concerned employees.

Aside from lunch allowances, employees have also been complained of the treatment by management as some of sick employees in need of blood are forced to pay for it despite the institution collecting it for free.

“It’s hard to train more nurses to perform a phlebotomy and management seems not to care and never mind of motivating late alone maintain its staff. This is the very same reason the institution is failing to keep regular blood donors,” added another affected employee.

MBTS is one of the richest NGOs in Malawi which receives huge funding of about K3 billion from different organizations in the world including money they get from selling blood to both private and public hospitals.

The organization gets funding from Malawi government, MM Africa, Global fund, Centre for Disease control (CDC), USAID Including other partners like PACHI, FMB and Southern Bottlers among others.

It also generates funds from selling blood to private and public hospitals at between K24,000 and K62,000 per pint. Despite that blood is given for free in public hospitals, government pays for it.

The failure to provide conducive work environment has been attributed as one of the factors failing the institution from meeting its blood demands of 80,000 units.

Source : Nyasa Times


 
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