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In Zambia, Youth Work to Fill Nursing Shortage

Home > Learn More > Stories & News > In Zambia, Youth Work to Fill Nursing Shortage
By Priscilla Chama, ChildFund Zambia
Posted on 10/19/2016
Anne with Nurses

ChildFund President & CEO Anne Lynam Goddard visits students in the Zambia Nurse and Life Skills Training project.

ChildFund’s program to train more nurses in Zambia will graduate its first class of students next year, helping ease a major shortage of health care workers.

ChildFund President & CEO Anne Lynam Goddard recently visited students in the Zambia Nurse and Life Skills Training project, which has put standardized nursing curriculum online, so students can work on computers and tablets. They’re still required to attend certain classes and workshops in person for technical topics, lab work and hospital rounds.

Aside from helping unemployed youth train for jobs as registered nurses, the program also addresses a severe lack of nurses across the country. The MasterCard Foundation has provided $7.6 million in funding for the program, which ChildFund is implementing with Amref Health Africa, the General Nursing Council and the Ministry of Health, in a partnership started in 2012. This group will continue working together through 2018, and then the Ministry of Health will be responsible for running this project.

The program includes education in decision-making, conflict resolution and other skills that will help students find and retain jobs after graduation.

Next year, the first cohort of students will graduate, and because of health care employee shortages nationwide, they all expect to find employment within the Ministry of Health. The program’s goal is to train 2,000 new nurses.

“I’m very impressed that the Ministry of Health will sustain this program, as it gives youth the opportunity to be trained as nurses and become employed,” Goddard said after meeting with Dr. Peter Mwaba, secretary of the Ministry of Health.

Goddard also met with students at the Livingstone School of Nursing in southwestern Zambia, which is part of the e-learning program.

“From what I have seen, the e-learning students are performing better than their counterparts in traditional nursing programs, because they have more time with lecturers,” Goddard said. “They have learned to take responsibility for their learning, and this is a good thing. It would be good to see all those that are graduating next year finding work in the health care industry.”

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