The number of institutions dedicated to medical training has been growing, thus increasing the number of professionals in the health area, working in various health units spread throughout the country.

According to data from the latest Statistical Yearbook of Health, in 2021, the country had a total of 64,424 health professionals, which corresponds to an evolution of 8% compared to 2020. The distribution of the total number of NHS personnel, by professional occupation level, showed an evolution in the upper and middle levels corresponding to 18% and 24% respectively. However, for the basic and elementary level there was a reduction of 17% and 14%, respectively.

Table 1 – Distribution of Total NHS Personnel by Level of Professional Occupation

2019          9,368        25,138          7,491          16,127        58,124
2020        10,489        27,069        14,465          14,465        66,488
2021        12,341        33,683          5,937          12,463        64,424
Source: OCS based on data from the Statistical Yearbook of Health 2021

The spread of these institutions may constitute an added value for the country, since the increase in health professionals corresponds to a reduction in the patient/health professional ratio.

However, the nurse in Maternal and Child Health (MCH), Vagma da Silva, does not look at this scenario in a peaceful way, arguing that there are many institutions that are dedicated to health courses without fulfilling the requirements established by law for their operation. As a consequence, the trainees arrive at the internship without the basic notions on the use of several instruments, including the administration of a simple injection to the patient.

In this context, Vagma argues that the Government should be more demanding in the opening of health institutes in the country, as a way to stop the training of people who lack the compassion to deal with health matters, putting at risk the health of patients.

In fact, the admission of professionals without basic knowledge of health, often ends up dirtying all professionals – the person who made the mistake is not considered and the entire hospital team ends up being blamed.

“There are many health institutes being opened every day, but the same have inadequate conditions in the process of training health professionals. Dealing with health is dealing with humans, it is different from dealing with chalk and eraser. It is more preferable to have only one institute training professionals with quality, instead of many institutes that train empty people”, she argued.

The MCH nurse was speaking in an interview to the Citizen Observatory for Health (OCS) on the challenges of the user in accessing health services in Mozambique. For her, one of the major difficulties in the health sector is the limited equipment and surgical material in several health units.

“The Government should allocate more equipment and surgical material in the health area, because at the workplace we face many difficulties. The material is scarce. In the past, the material was sufficient, but now there has not been the same support. Not only, some norms are being exceeded, we are forgetting that our major priority in this profession is the health of our patients. But many now think only of making money”, he stressed.

In the opinion of the SMI nurse, one of the greatest frustrations for a health professional lies in the loss of a patient.

“I always tell colleagues that we have to work with a clear conscience”, stressed the professional, recalling that time ago she had assisted a pregnant woman who, on due to an accident, was admitted to the hospital.

“Despite the attention given to her it was not possible to save the baby”, she stressed.

“She was admitted to the obstetric service. However, her case needed a surgery. I managed to take her to the operating theatre, and after the operation, she was transferred to Quelimane Central Hospital, but unfortunately, she lost her baby”, she narrated.

Vagma has been a nurse since 2015 and she reveals that attending a nursing course was the same as fulfilling her childhood dream, a passion motivated by her love of caring for women and children.

“When I wanted to apply for health course, I first researched which course was ideal and came to the conclusion that the course most compatible with my passion would be SMI (Maternal and Child Health)”, she noted.

Vagma’s goal is to continue to carry out her work with dedication, although it is not easy because of situations that discourage professional practice.

For her, working in this field requires a lot of attention, because taking care of women and children is not an easy task. “The challenge is to go deeper and train myself to be an obstetrician. If I don’t make it, I am also thinking of doing a degree in pediatrics”, she said.

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