Regional health centres to train registered nurses

30 Dec 2013 18:20pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 30 DEC (NAMPA) - The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi on Monday launched the registered nurse diploma training course in Keetmanshoop.
The new three-year national training course will be offered at health training centres in Keetmanshoop, Rundu and Windhoek.
As part of the programme, every centre will register 90 students per year to be trained in general nursing and midwifery.
The students have already been admitted at the centres, and classes are scheduled to start on 03 February 2014. It will run for the next six years.
The project, which according to Kamwi is “close to President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s heart”, is aimed at addressing the current shortage of registered nurses and midwives in the country.
The minister said the project owes its existence to the President as he directed the ministry to launch it this year because he is concerned about nurses’ heavy workload due to understaffing.
“This project will change the face of nursing in the country. Apart from the success of reducing HIV/AIDS deaths, this project is another significant milestone for the ministry and Government,” Kamwi remarked.
He went onto say the programme only admits students who are not already working as nurses in an effort to give those who complete school a chance to gain training and employment.
To ensure that Government does not train people only for them to move to the private sector, Kamwi said all students enrolled for the programme will sign a contract stating that they will work for Government for three years before they are free to move elsewhere.
“We are going to keep you here for three years, we expect you to serve Government. You are our students... when we say something you must listen, no compromise,” he told the new students present at the launch.
Kamwi said Namibia cannot continue to depend on health practitioners from other countries, and therefore it is time for the country to train its own nurses, doctors and pharmacists, amongst others.
The students will receive free accommodation, transport, uniforms, training material, and an unspecified stipend every month.
The minister could not say how much money which is being spent on the training programme, but stated that it is being availed by the ministry and its partners.
On his part, //Karas Governor Bernardus Swartbooi thanked the Health Ministry for its constant commitment to filling the gaps in the health sector and ensuring good health in Namibia.
Swartbooi also made use of the opportunity to ask Kamwi to fast-track the recruitment of a regional director of health for //Karas, a position which Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Job Ndile is currently acting in.