Malawi is expected to export the first cohort of 1000 skilled health professionals to Saudi Arabia this year. However, observers have called on the observers to trade carefully on the move.
The arrangement according to National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives in Malawi, NONM President Shouts Simeza follows reviews of the Memorandum of Understanding the organisation conducted within the ministry of health to start exporting unemployed nurses to other countries.
Chimeza said, “Government has also given us slot of 1000 unemployed Nurses and midwives to go to Saudi Arabia and would want this to be done the soon before August while the other portion will be going to America.
Health expert Professor Maureen Chirwa has advised the ministry of health and NONM to put up policies that will cushion health professionals while working abroad.
She said, “It is good for the country, however, we would want to request the authorities to make sure that they tighten the agreement that is there to ensure that nurses are not going to be abused in the foreign land where they are going.”
However, the Malawi Health Equity Network has since disapproved the program arguing that the project will portray that the government has failed absorb the 3000 unemployed nurses.
Through the program, Malawi will export 1000 nurses every year in the next 5 years but nurses will be tested their eligibility before being exported.
Meanwhile, the Malawi Human Right Commission, MHRC has since reacted to the health professionals’ export program by advising the government to trade carefully.
MRHC executive secretary Habiba Ousmane says protection for the beneficiaries is needed as countries like Saudi Arabia are known for the exploitation and abuse of foreign workers.
She said, “This is an interesting issue as far as Nursing is concerned. But we need to know the a agreements that are there because we do know that if you are going to work abroad, there are usually safeguarding policies. Police report, the history of a person are needed when you are going to work abroad.
“Under the Human Rights perspective, we need to know the contents of the agreement to avoid issues of human trafficking.”