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The Norwegian Nurses Organisation’s (NNO) long-term development goal when working with sister organisations in Africa is always the same – strong, bold and sustainable organisations that can serve their members and influence health care policy. NNO is pleased with recent developments with its sister organisation in Zambia. The Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation (ZUNO) will soon be fully sustainable.
NNO has supported ZUNO for many years. Initially, during the 1990’s, the Zambian nurses association lacked influence in national health care policy issues, had few members, no employees and was being run solely through volunteer efforts. Many of the nurses were HIV positive, sick and lacking treatment.
Today, ZUNO has become one of the country’s most recognized trade unions. Respected by government, employers and other trade unions. 9.000 nurses and midwives benefit from membership in ZUNO. Successful negotiation of salary and working conditions, training of shop stewards, junior female nurses (empowerment training) and nurse leaders, regular publication of a nursing magazine and a recognized position as negotiator for nurses are just some of the benefits ZUNO provides to its members.
An important part of the development work NNO provides is to assist nurses’ organisations to become combined organisations with both professional and trade union status (NNO organisation model). After years of protracted opposition ZUNO has reached this goal and is assuming responsibility for all aspects of its activities and finances.
Financial support from NNO – with generous support from Norad – has been gradually reduced these past years in line with the organisation’s increase in revenue. With a steady increase in members and thereby increased revenue from the check-off system, ZUNO is well on its way to financial sustainability. The graph below shows ZUNO revenue for the first 11 months of 2011. Even though this level of revenue is less than that attained by sister organisations in the north, it is nevertheless significant in an African context.
NNO congratulates ZUNO on a job well done, and looks forward to continued cooperation and exchange.

Text: Michael Vitols
12 December 2012

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