BoNU actively recruiting Nurses for the UK

UK has reportedly removed Botswana nurses from a blacklist


Botswana Nurses Union (BoNU) will continue to seek better opportunities outside the country for its members with or without the blessing of the government, the union’s Secretary for International Affairs, Pinky Mpinga Joseph, has said.

To that end, more than 100 local nurses have applied for jobs in the United Kingdom after it came to light that the island state is facing a serious shortage of nurses that worsened after the outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

60 nurses already in the UK
An estimated 60 nurses from Botswana have already taken up jobs in the UK through an arrangement between BoNU and Essex Partnership University, development that the Ministry of Health (MoH) is said to be in disapproval of.

The 60 were recruited without any involvement of the ministry.
According to Joseph, BoNU is not under any compulsion to seek approval of MoH for finding opportunities for its members. “There are matters for which we ought to engage the Ministry of Health but this is not one of them,” she said. “It is a responsibility of the union to find opportunities for our nurses.”

Joseph also disclosed that the UK long removed nurses from Botswana from its blacklist. “The UK decided to remove us and Kenya from the blacklist when it experienced a significant shortage of nurses, especially after COVID-19,” she said.

“We are not aware of any agreement between Botswana and the UK that stops our nurses from being recruited to work in the UK.” Efforts to contact MoH proved futile when its Public Relations Officer, Dr Christopher Nyanga, did not answer his phone at the time of going to press.

Meanwhile, sources say the Ministry of Health has previously turned down a request for the United States to recruit local nurses for a commission to the government.