Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Chronicle Reporter
WHILE many of her colleagues have left the country for greener pastures, the zeal to serve her people and love for her country have seen Mrs Nomathemba Mkhwananzi-Jamela (48) serve in the country’s health care sector for the past 27 years.
Despite several opportunities that came her way and persuasion from family and friends to leave the country, Mrs Mkhwananzi-Jamela who specialises in intensive care feels that her services are needed more here than abroad.
Her determination and passion for her work is indisputable after she stole the show at the recently held Mater Dei Hospital graduation and prize giving ceremony by scooping four awards.
Her success saw her earn an opportunity to be personally congratulated by Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care General (Retired) Dr Constantino Chiwenga who graced the occasion and further took a picture with her.
She received awards for best nurse in intensive care assessment, best nurse in research project, best nurse in coronary assessment and for student who had persevered throughout the course.
Mrs Mkhwananzi-Jamela finished her training in Intensive and Coronary Care Nursing under the class of 2019.
She did her nurse training at St Luke’s School of Nursing from 1992 to 1994.
She has worked at Esigodini District Hospital, Victoria Falls Hospital, Fatima Clinic, in Hwange District. Mrs Mkhwananzi-Jamela is now stationed at Mater Dei Hospital where she has worked for the past 20 years.
She also has a degree in counselling with the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU). Mrs Mkhwananzi-Jamela has 17 years’ experience in intensive care.
“Many people I trained and worked with have left the country and they have even encouraged me to join them abroad. My friends and relatives have also been encouraging me to leave the country but I love my country and I want to serve my people. I want to utilise the skills that I have acquired to improve the country’s health care system because this is where I got the skills in the first place,” she said.
The country continues to experience an exodus of experienced health staff and specialists.
Mrs Mkhwananzi-Jamela said she was eager to use her skills to fully execute her duties as a health care provider. She believes that she has to continue studying in order to offer the best service.
“I had been working in ICU with experience but with no diploma since 2004. I was motivated to do the diploma so that I could widen my knowledge. I joined Mater Dei Hospital in 2001. I enrolled for the one year Intensive and Coronary Care Nursing course in 2019. I’m glad that I have successfully completed my training and that I have done well,” she said.
“I attribute my success to working hard and the love for my job. If you put all your heart and passion into what you are doing then you can excel. I’m passionate about nursing and my priority goes to the nursing care of a patient. I value the patient as an individual and their needs. My family was also very supportive throughout the duration of my course.”
Mrs Mkhwananzi-Jamela who initially wanted to study agriculture gives credit to her father who encouraged her to study nursing.
“I initially wanted to study agriculture in 1992 and when I failed to get a place my father advised me to study nursing and that was when I enrolled at St Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing. I give credit to my father for giving me this noble advice. Failure to secure a place in agriculture was also a blessing in disguise. I love nursing and I’m glad I chose it as a profession,” she said.
Mater Dei Hospital Training School introduced one-year diploma courses in Intensive and Coronary Care and Operating Theatre Nursing in 2018. A total of 24 nurses graduated during a ceremony that was held early this month.
Dr Chiwenga recently urged medical staff to remain patriotic and continue to serve their nation. He said professionals must strive to utilise their skills in the country in a bid to improve the health delivery system.
The VP said the country was dogged by a shortage of specialists who are offering their services in the region and beyond largely because of limited service of condition packages as well as poor remuneration which he said will be looked into with urgency.
Dr Chiwenga said the country has trained a lot of health practitioners who are sought after regionally and internationally.
The VP said Government was now working on improving the working conditions of health staff which include among others accommodation, transport, cafeterias at hospitals, equipment that is used at hospitals for the treatment of patients and salaries. — @DubeMatutu