When two elephants fight, the ground or the health care system needn’t suffer.
When Jill Lllifee, Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth Nurses asked me to mentor two Zimbabwean Nurses coming to London on a Commonwealth Fellowship, I was honoured and delighted that the Commonwealth was able to see the bigger picture beyond the political wrangling, because what matters after all, are the Zimbabwean people.
Chido Katsambe and Alice Mvuu-Mashizha, experienced clinicians from Chitungwiza Hospital in Harare are here on a three month visit in the UK. They are young, enthusiastic and are proudly raising the county’s flag. We spend time reflecting on our experiences in Zimbabwe and the Diaspora and comparing clinical experiences. They are managing complex clinical presentations under minimal resources with proven health outcomes. I am touched when I repeatedly hear them say how proud they are to be practising in Zimbabwe and that they feel they have an important responsibility in developing the health care system back home.
So what better excuse to cook up some home food, sadza, meat, vegetables, complete with nyimo, biltong and Mazoe orange juice. I invited fellow Diaspora friends to a dinner party and we broke all diplomacy rules. We ate and talked loudly over each other, reminiscing on a shared Zimbabwe past, present, future, and ideals on what could have been. My friend Taku Mukiwa played mbira for us as the evening conversations wore on. The only thing missing was the African sun.
“After receiving a presidential welcoming to the UK by the British Council, Commonwealth and the Zimbabwe Diaspora Community, I do not remember feeling home sick. I leant that there is no bad weather in London, only wrong dressing. It is concerning that people back home have limited perceptions of those living in the Diaspora. The grass is not always greener. Our relatives are working tirelessly and ends are not meeting. The demands are more than they can earn. I am proud to say that I am coming from Chitungwiza Hospital, an ISO Certified Hospital and our health care is within satisfactory range. We need more resources to improve staff motivation and development to improve quality of car delivery”
Alice Mvuu-Mashizha. Midwife, Chitungwiza Hospital. Zimbabwe.
“I feel so honoured to be here in London representing Chitungwiza Central Hospital and Zimbabwe at large. The reception and support we have received from fellow Zimbabweans and the British community has been overwhelming. There is no great difference between the hospitals we have toured so far in England and ours in Zimbabwe. I can hold my head up high and proudly declare that I am Zimbabwean and I am contributing to the development of our health care system. I must give credit to our CEO, Dr O Moyo and his management team. Our PNO Mrs M Mangena and all the staff at Chitungwiza Hospital for their hard work and innovative thinking in tackling health problems in Zimbabwe”
Chido Katsambe. Paediatric Nurse Chitungwiza Hospital. Zimbabwe.
“It was great to meet Chido and Alice in a convivial atmosphere. Chitungwiza hospital and the Zimbabwean Health Service face huge challenges but it is enthralling to hear about the innovative strategies they are using to tackle these problems. Congratulations to them as Commonwealth Fellows”
Thanks to the host. Dr Knox Chitiyo