The General Nursing Council of Zambia traveled to Nairobi to sign a MoU with Amref Health Africa’s Institute of Capacity Development. Having worked together for decades, the I-NGO and GNCZ formalised their relationship in the hopes of creating a stronger partnership. “We are honoured and privileged to be here today, and learn on what Amref has achieved so far in regards to training of quality Human Resources for Health,” stated Dr Aaron Banda, the Registrar of GNCZ, who led the Zambian delegation.
Addressing Health Training Challenges
The MoU seeks to address challenges faced in Human Resources for Health with particular interest in quality training. “Amref has been training health care workers for decades. For this reason, their expertise in the field is recognised, acknowledged and appreciated,” added Dr Banda. To add to this, the I-NGO, alongside ChildFund Zambia, implemented the Zambia Nurse and Life-skill Training Programme, funded by MasterCard Foundation that saw over 80 students of eLearning graduate last year. The success of the eLearning programme, that targeted pre-service students, was evident by the fact that the top scoring overall nursing student was from the eLearning class. Through the project, Amref Health Africa put Zambia on the map for being the first country in the world to train pre-service nursing students via eLearning.
“It is this great working partnership with the Government of Zambia that even motivated policy change to acknowledge eLearning as a valid methodology of learning for nursing students in Zambia. Also, the government added the component of Life-Skill training in the overall nursing curriculum,” stated Dr George Kimathi, the Regional Director of the Institute of Capacity Development
Close Friends & A Promise to Work Together
“It is also a privilege for Amref to formalize its relationship with GNCZ and the Government of Zambia. This is an MoU between close friends and a promise to work even harder together to ensure that the shortage of health care workers in Africa, not just Zambia and Kenya is resolved. Yes, this is an MoU between Amref and Zambia; but it is also an MoU for Africa. We have several other projects such as the GSK Frontline Health Workers implemented in Zambia, and other countries in Africa,” explained Professor Peter Ngatia, the interim Vice Chancellor of Amref International University.
Upgrading of Skill in the Near Future
The delegation from Zambia also visited Kenya’s Medical Training Center and Mental Hospital in Mathare, Nairobi, where they interacted with students taking the RN courses offered via eLearning by Amref Institute of Capacity Development. “Zambia currently has 13,500 enrolled nurses. We as GNCZ are keen on ensuring these nurses take the RN course and upgrade their skills. This was a benchmarking exercise to learn from what Kenya and Amref Institute of Capacity Development has achieved,” added Dr. Banda.
The MoU also seeks to enhance collaboration between the two parties and their partners, source for funding and ease the working relationship already created by the two parties.
“I believe that as a nurse, when a baby is born, you have to document everything. If anything is missing from the documentation, then it was not done. This MoU is documentation to prove that we are partners and friends of Amref Institute of Capacity Development,” concluded Dr Banda.