Not enough registered nurses in rural Namibia

25 Nov 2016 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 25 NOV (NAMPA) - An inequitable geographical distribution of human resources hampers registered nurses from working in rural communities, while professional isolation prevent them from networking with colleagues to discuss new ideas.
Speaking to Nampa on the sidelines of the International University of Management (IUM)’s first Annual Research Day on Thursday, Dr Stephanie van der Walt said Namibia has 168 registered nurses per 100 000 people in rural areas, which is inadequate according to World Health Organisation (WHO) standards of 200 nurses per 100 000 people.
The IUM lecturer, whose research topic was ‘Training Challenges of Rural Clinical Nurse Practitioners in South Africa: Lessons applicable to Namibia’, explained that many rural areas in Namibia are without registered nurses due to the distance between the rural areas and education facilities.
These include Internet access and libraries at education facilities that are based in urban areas.
She said such facilities are important for nurses and patients.
“Computer and Internet literacy helps nurses achieve their extra learning goals. Nurses need to obtain Internet skills not only for their careers but also to help patients find relevant information for their health-related questions as well as to guide their health management decisions.”
At the event, IUM Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic and Research, Professor Kingo Mchombu explained the research day was held to identify potential researchable areas, as well as for students and staff members to learn more about research.
This, he said, is part of IUM’s objectives to bring researchers together to share the results of their work and discuss the current trends of academic and applied research in Namibia.
Research findings presented at the event will be used as part of IUM research journals that are published annually.
Other research topics presented included indigenous water conservation techniques and the role of academic institutions in research strategies.