A long wait

Finding a training vacancy has been difficult for Sauda Issa Chimsala

The KIUMA Hospital of our wortundtat partner in Tanzania has a nursing school attached to it. After a long wait, Sauda Issa Chimsala has been able to complete her training there. Today, she is a full member of staff at the hospital. Moreover, she can be relatively sure that she will find well-paid employment for the rest of her working life. A shortage of care personnel is also a problem in Tanzania (see box).

Training vacancies are in short supply

Sauda Issa Chimsala, who is now 27 and her five siblings grew up in a small village, not far from the facility, which wortundtat has been supporting for over 20 years. In general, regular training facilities in the district are in extremely short supply. And it is particularly difficult for young women to find a training vacancy. However, Sauda Issa Chimsala succeeded in the end and was able to attend the nursing school at the KIUMA Hospital from 2011 to 2013. She said: “I had to wait a long time to get the training vacancy and was very pleased that I succeeded at last. What I particularly liked during my training was the fact that I was able to keep my workspace clean in order to prevent diseases from spreading. However, my happiest moment was when I passed my exam.”

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Shortage of nurses in Tanzania

According to the country’s deputy health minister, only every second vacancy in the Tanzanian health care system has been filled. He made this statement before the Tanzanian Parliament in April 2018.

Based on information by the World Health Organisation, compared to international standards, the ratio of the overall population to care personnel is also alarmingly low: in 2015, there was one nurse or midwife for 2,500 residents, whereby the ratio was slightly better in cities and slightly worse in rural areas.

The comparative figure for Germany is 28 for 2,500. Norway has even 53 carers or midwives for 2,500 residents.

 

“I like my work”

Today, she is working in the hospital where she did her training; she particularly likes the opportunity of working with patients and when she is able to talk to them about health-conscious behaviour. Sauda Issa Chimsala continues: “I just like this aspect of my work. The only thing that is slightly exhausting if, in the evening, in spite of having been asked to leave several times, friends or relatives of the patient just want to stay on in the patient room”. Since having a job, her life has completely changed. Her income is ca. 300,000 Tanzanian Shilling per month, which was the equivalent to a little more than 110 Euro in summer 2018. Hence, she is able to support herself and her child, she is financially independent and there is still a little money left to support her parents. As a single mother, her life will probably always be slightly more difficult. That is why she is glad that she has the opportunity of living in two rooms at the KIUMA site, – together with other nurses and carers, who work at the hospital. However, she wants to achieve more: she hopes to be able one day to get a diploma as a qualified nurse.