News / Africa

Muslim Nurses, Midwives in Malawi Can Wear Hijab at Work

A nurse examines a patient suffering from Tuberculosis TB of the bones, cramped with metals to keep his bones tight, at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. (file photo)
A nurse examines a patient suffering from Tuberculosis TB of the bones, cramped with metals to keep his bones tight, at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. (file photo)
Lameck Masina

Malawi’s medical regulating body has approved a request to allow Muslim nurses to wear the Islamic headscarf - or hijab - while on duty.

The request came from the education arm of the Muslim Association of Malawi - the Islamic Information Bureau.

“It has taken us almost one year communicating with [officials from] Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi. I remember we had two or three meetings in [the capital] Lilongwe," said national coordinator of the bureau Dinala Chabulika. "You know these are the rights of women. As Muslims, we have the responsibility to defend the rights of our women.

The registrar of the Nurses and Midwives Council agreed to the request - in part, as a way to encourage more Muslim girls to join the profession, which is severely understaffed. In Malawi, there are only 17 nurses for every 100,000 people.

Martha Mondiwa of the Nurses and Midwives Council says the decision to grant the request was based on consideration of the protocol in other nations’ hospitals and how other religious groups are accommodated in Malawi.

“We have [other religious people] like the Catholics who generically have been putting on their uniforms. I think when they [Muslim officials] saw more Muslim women joining the profession, that’s when they decided to ask for it, I don’t know,” she said.

Mondiwa says the Islamic headscarf will need to be in keeping with the approved colors for the country’s health workers - predominantly all white and/or green

“We will not allow them [to] put on colors like black, no," she said. "We encourage all nurses to follow the prescribed nurses' and midwives' colors. So, for example, if someone is a matron, she will put on a hijab with a matron colors and same to others depending to the color they are, they will go for that.”

One of the Muslim nurses at the country’s Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Duniya Kazembe, says despite the advantages that would come with wearing the hijab while on duty, there are challenges as well.

“When you are in a hijab, some of the patients will respect and appreciate that this one is really dressed well and they will have confidence in you that 'I will be treated [well] with this one.' But [other patients] would segregate nurses who are dressed in a hijab,” said the nurse.

The development comes after Immigration Department authorities allowed Muslim women to start having their passport photos taken with the hijab.

The 2008 population census shows that 13 percent of Malawians are Muslim.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid