An Interview with Genevieve Musokwa, CEO of the first registered nursing agency in Zambia
Genevieve Tororo Musokwa is Chief Executive Officer of Nonkhululeko Nursing and Midwifery Agency. With a Master’s in Nursing, she was the first President of the Midwives Association of Zambia. She’s early to bed, early to rise, a grandmother, wife, keen swimmer and avid reader. On top of her CEO duties Genevieve voluntarily councils and trains young people in sexual reproductive health.
Tell us about yourself
I am a nurse and midwife with over 30 years experience in clinical practice and in nursing and midwifery education. I have worked for various NGOs developing training material for community home based care provision and I’ve trained home based care providers. I have also worked extensively in nursing homes, for nursing agencies in the UK and have worked on short term contracts with the World Health Organisation. I have a Masters in Nursing majoring in community nursing. I have travelled extensively in the UK, US and Europe.
A typical working day starts early, as early as 2am! I am early to bed early to rise. I go to bed at exactly 8pm. My work includes marketing, meeting clients, providing supportive supervision of our nurses and carers and conducting client assessments.
About the organisation
Nonkhululeko Nursing and Midwifery Agency was set up in 2018 in response to a need for quality home care in Zambia. It is the first registered nursing agency in Zambia which is also registered as an employment agency with the Ministry of Labour. The team includes three administrative staff, with nursing staff employed as and when needed to meet specific client needs.
My Mother who had heart failure needed home care in the last weeks of her life. I provided her care as I found it difficult to find a nurse to take care of her.
This could have been a blessing in disguise as I was by her side when she passed on. I will forever treasure those moments. The experience of caring for my Mother demonstrated there was a gap in the provision of home care and inspired my vision for my organisation.
We have so many Non-Communicable Diseases and more people are living longer, hence the need for care at home. Some conditions can’t be managed at hospitals after the client has been treated. Follow up care is often needed. Sadly, conditions like Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease are are on the rise. These conditions cannot be managed in a traditional health facility as they require long term care. Keeping your loved one at home makes more sense. They are in an environment they are familiar with filled with the sounds of grandchildren, and familiar friendly family voices.
The aim of Nonkhululeko Nursing and Midwifery Agency is to decongest the hospitals and provide quality care to our ageing parents at home, in their own environment. This is important because nursing homes are not a concept we are familiar with in the developing world.
We are helping families receive quality care from trained professionals. Having someone specifically employed to care for a patient means they can focus on providing quality personalised care and note important changes in the needs of the patient.
Our clients are typically the elderly, cancer patients and people with long term illnesses. Our services are usually requested by family members looking to take care of their loved ones. We carry out client assessments to ensure that our care is tailor made to meet the needs of the individual we are caring for and so we can offer sound advise and support.
About doing business in Zambia
The market is open and young in Zambia, rife with opportunity. But there are challenges. I’ve noticed a lack of moral and business ethics. People don’t keep their promises and often deliver substandard work. I’ve also found the cost of establishing a business in Zambia to be very high, especially with the regulatory bodies. I would like to see this change to make it more attractive to set up in business.
I think the internet is having a positive impact on business in Zambia. For example, I am so impressed with our advert on thebestofzambia.com It beats international standards. Facebook and Twitter have also unleashed a unique form of marketing. Despite this great impact, the cost of the internet is still very high. Maybe as more providers come into the market it may get cheaper but right now, unless you buy bundles on your phone you have very little access to the internet.
Going forward I hope for a corruption free Zambia, a Zambia where people go to work and actually give a full day’s work. We have to fight this corruption and lazy attitude towards work.
It seems no one wants to do anything without asking for a tip, lunch or talk time money… We also need to get out of our comfort zone and take risks. It’s only when we take risks and venture out into the unknown that we will discover the vast resources that our country has.
Lessons to impart
Be a willing learner. Read a lot. I read a minimum of four books a month. I’m currently reading, “The Miracle Power of Your Mind” by Joseph Murphey and “Idol Eyes: My New Perspective on Faith, Fat & Fame” by Mandisa. I have also received a lot of valuable input from the most unlikely people. It’s amazing what you can learn even from the woman on the street. Special thanks to Mr Yungana, my friend and colleague, Mrs Mbewe, my mentor and also Ms Chipo and Ms Mwale — you’ve all provided immense input into what we are doing.
People will betray you and hurt you. Move on. There is always a rainbow on the other side. Be prepared to work hard and stick to your vision even when people tell you your business will not work. It’s your vision not theirs. Follow your dream and your vision. If I was to advise my 21 year old self I would say, “Go for your dream and stick with it.”
Find out more
Read more about Nonkhululeko Nursing and Midwifery Agency services by clicking below.
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