Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi (NMCM) has assured people in the country that the introduction of dressing code for the Muslims will not cause any harm or affect their duties.
Last month, NMCM responded to the Muslim Commission for Social Justice (MCSJ) and Islamic Information Bureau’s request to allow Muslim nurses to wear Hijab when conducting their duties.
However, since the approval, there have been doubts amongst the people of Malawi on how the women will be able to conduct their duties while in Hijab.
Other people of other denominations were also against the move by the council saying some patients ‘would not feel comfortable’ to be attended by the nurse who is in Hijab.
But in a Press Statement released by the council signed by the Registrar Mrs Martha Mondiwa says, “The council will ensure that the Muslim Nurses and midwives dressing code will not hinder or bring challenges in the provision of nursing and midwifery care at all times”.
She however, asked ‘All [Muslim] nurses and midwives to adhere to the dressing as prescribed by the Nurses and Midwives Council in Malawi…’ adding that the council has appointed a Task force to look into the designs of the uniform.
This means that any uniform design will not be effective until the approval of the Board of Directors.
Speaking earlier to this website, Mrs Mondiwa said the council decided to bow down to the Muslims request as one way of encouraging Muslim girls to join the nursing profession.
“Muslims told us that Muslim girls shun away from this profession because of its dressing code. So, with this now we hope that many girls will join us,” she said.
According to their code of dress, nurses are not allowed to wear miniskirts or tight jeans as one way of allowing the free mobility and quick enough even in case of emergency.
It also requires the nurses to tight or completely hide their hair ‘because dangling hair may interfere with their work especially where they have to bend over the patient thereby posing a danger of cross infection,’ which is compliant with the Islamic teachings because Islam encourages women to cover their hair all the time.
Both Abdul-Aziz Jameson who is Chairman for Muslim Commission for Social Justice and Sheikh Dinala Chabulika coordinator for the Islamic Information Bureau commended the council for accepting their request.
“We will try to do everything possible to make sure that Muslim girls join the profession and encourage our donors to start sponsoring the girls to study this profession,” said Sheikh Chabulika.
Sheikh Chabulika however issued a warning to other companies that don’t allow Muslim women to wear Hijab.
“We will now take them to task. They must be careful because if the government approves our women to wear their dressing everywhere, what about them?” he lamented.
The development comes after the Malawi government through the Immigration Department also allowed the Muslim women to have their passport photos taken while in Hijab.