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Unpaid village nurses to finally get their dues

The Minister of Health Motlatsi Maqelepo

Nov. 3, 2020 2 min read

2 min read

THE Ministry of Health is currently working on measures to ensure that village health workers who have not been getting their salaries notwithstanding the laborious tasks they do in the communities including to address health issues, finally get their dues.

The ministry says one of the reasons the community health nurses’ salaries were not paid were their unclear name listings.

To rectify the longstanding error, the Director of Primary Healthcare in the health ministry Dr Thabelo Ramatlapeng said they have planned to call a meeting to among others seek solutions to the problems encountered.

Dr Ramatlapeng said each village health worker should submit to the ministry a document signed by both the responsible area chief and the nurse in charge of the local facility.

Commenting on the issue, the Minister of Health Motlatsi Maqelepo said they are working hard to ensure that the list is finalised before the end of December, in order to make way for the processing of the unpaid salaries. 

He said the list has been unclear as other people have died, while others have moved to other countries.

“I am not happy to receive calls from community health workers requesting their payments, while there are responsible nurses from the clinics who are there to ensure that such people get paid,” Mr Maqelepo said.

Going forward, he said they have agreed that everybody should take the responsibility of their duty, and report on the make progress made.

’Matšepang Kaneli from the Villa Maria Health Centre said some of them have been working under the unfavourable conditions from as far back as 2018.

“Some of the village health workers get their monthly payments while others do not get paid at all and the situation has been like that for a long time,” she said.

Ms Kaneli added: “Even when they request to get be paid quarterly, getting their salaries remains a problem and they end up not knowing how much the ministry owes them.”

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She however, showed that although they do not get their salaries, they still continue serving their communities.

“Lately we are told that a village health worker should at least hold a Junior Certificate (JC), a condition we were not told about before,” she said.

When Lesotho adopted the primary health care system, community health workers were included in the programme to focus on health promotion, particularly to reach people in underserved rural areas.

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