Health sector brain drain stalls donor programmes


DONOR-funded programmes are reportedly stagnating due to the massive brain drain in the health sector.

This was revealed by the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZNA) yesterday during a Medicine Sans Frontieres (MSF) Regional Scientific Day in Harare.

ZNA president Enock Dongo said most health personnel left the country due to low pay and poor working conditions amid international high demand for health personnel following the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We appreciate the role that development partners are playing in the country to assist in the health sector where many interventions have been availed, but it is now difficult to implement programmes due to shortages of staff,” Dongo said.

“I plead with the government to look at issues affecting nurses so as to preserve the few remaining cadres. Nurses in Zimbabwe are the lowest paid in the region necessitating the massive brain drain. Partners are doing a lot to assist the situation and to fill the gaps being created by the employer. This issue has to be addressed holistically. There is need for all stakeholders to meet and sort out the problems,” he said.

Dongo said the next two years would spell disaster in the nursing profession should the situation go unresolved.

“The brain drain has left inexperienced tutors and nurses. After three years, what kind of a cadre will we have?”

The MSF Scientific Day is an annual event hosted by the organisation in selected countries where evidence-based research from MSF’s field programmes around the world is presented, shared and discussed.

Yesterday’s celebrations were a regional commemoration of the annual event.

During the event, life-saving scientific projects, including two that are being implemented in Mbare, Harare, were presented.

Participants from around the region were in attendance.

  • Follow Vanessa on Twitter @vanessa_gonye

Related Topics