Forward Nyanyiwa Correspondent
|The calls have been loud and persistent. Thousands of aspiring student nurses countrywide have lost an equal amount of their greenbacks to well-knit cartels of fraudsters as they sought to don the white Hatel garments.
Corruption had reached unprecedented levels in various nursing schools around the country and those with fat pockets were now getting vacancies ahead of those of poor backgrounds, making a mockery of the profession which was popularised by Florence Nightingale a century ago.
Shocking amounts — as much as US$3000 — were now being charged for one to attend an interview, without even the guarantee that they would land the nurse training vacancy.
This resulted in wrong candidates flooding the profession, bringing with it shame as numerous unethical conduct of nurses became the order of the day.
At one time, a certain Chitungwiza Hospital nursing class had to be divided into two after two senior tutors dished out over 130 offer letters to aspiring nurses.
There were daring conmen too, who would fleece people using different modus operandi as the rush to become nurses reached fever pitch.
Responding to the cancerous scourge, Government came up with the now famous digital recruiting mechanism.
What a masterstroke!
The move was long overdue and it brings with it smiles to aspiring nurses as this brings with it transparency and a fair chance for deserving candidates to live their dreams.
The world is going digital and Government must be applauded for this development.
It is now goodbye to the outrageous US$3 000 bribe money, goodbye to shocking levels of nepotism and goodbye to monsters who have been flooding our hospitals on the back of their solid pockets.
Those with a calling can now apply and get a fair chance to help our people.
E-recruiting of nurses has just brought a breath of fresh air to our nursing schools.
It is all over now for greed tutors and hospital matrons, some who have been building mansions with this ill- gotten money.
However, as many have heaved sighs of relief with the online application platform offering them hope, it is not the same with those in the country’s rural and remote areas.
Nursing, just like teaching, is a dream profession for any young girl and boy in Mukarakate in Murehwa, Katsukunya Village in Mutoko and Zenda Mine in Gokwe.
These areas, among other remote rural places, are faraway from Internet connection, and this brings with it a new headache for aspiring nurses there.
An argument that we now have smartphones is far fetched as we can all unanimously agree that the cost of data bundles is being felt even by company executives!
Save for those at Nssa, perhaps!
It is expensive for one to have adequate data bundles for such an exercise in the rural areas, worse still not sure of how long it can take to finish the process.
Zimbabwe has done so well in trying to have mobile network access around the country, but there are certain areas were the network can be a nightmare.
The other challenge can be Internet literacy.
How many know how to use the smartphone and access the said platform? This becomes a toll order for those who wish to be nurses in the rural areas.
Ministry of Health and Child Care must now devise a plan to reach out to all these interested parties in an effort to give them a chance.
The ministry can make use of district hospitals dotted around the country and furnish one or two rooms with Internet to reach out to these remote but aspiring nurses.
Internet access points at district hospitals can mean that one can make a shot trip to the rural health centre and get help on how to apply.
Just like what the Zimbabwe Republic Police does it, that you can drop off your application at any police station, the ministry can do the same and place dropping points at various rural health centres, letters which will then be opened at their Harare head office.
Nursing remains one of the training programmes were one gets paid as they train, hence the rush for it in this economic crisis.
Very few can afford tertiary education fees and as such every Zimbabwean need a chance to live their dream.