(Photo: Amref Health Africa)
September 15, 2017 – Song, dance and color filled the Levi Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola town, Zambia on Thursday September 14, as thousands of people turned up to witness the 41st Combined Graduation Ceremony for registered nurses and midwives in Zambia’s Copperbelt Province.
Since 2013, Amref Health Africa and Childfund International have partnered to implement the Zambia Nurses Lifeskills Training Program, which uses e-learning technology to train nurses and midwives, with funding from the Mastercard Foundation.
Among the graduates was the first group of 67 registered nurse students in the country to undergo the e-Learning training program. The performance of the 67 e-learning students in the national nursing exams was significantly higher than the national average. A total of 1,039 students from 10 health training institutions received diplomas in nursing and certificates in midwifery at the largest ever graduation of health workers in the region.
(Photo: Amref Health Africa)
Present at the event were Group CEO of Amref Health Africa, Dr. Githinji Gitahi; CEO and President of ChildFund International, Anne Lynam Goddard; and Program Manager for Youth Livelihoods at the Mastercard Foundation, Mr. Koffi Assouan.
The best overall student in the e-Learning program, 23-year-old Daniel Kunueni, got straight As in all theoretical and practical exams. “I am passionate about pediatrics – I want to work with children. I also want to teach others so that they too can achieve their dreams,” says Daniel.
Daniel Kunueni, named best overall student in the e-Learning program, with Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO of Amref Health Africa. (Photo: Amref Health Africa)
Commending Daniel and all other e-Learning graduates for their impressive performance, Dr. Gitahi said that the students had demonstrated the effectiveness of e-Learning in closing the gap of trained health workers in Africa:
“Amref Health Africa began training nurses using e-Learning 10 years ago, with consistently high results. The success we have had validates this approach. Africa must embrace technology and use the tools of our times to accelerate achievement of universal health care for our people,” he said.
He added: “It is commendable that the Ministry of Health has embraced e-Learning as a viable and acceptable teaching methodology for healthcare workers. It is very interactive, students have content with them everywhere they go, and they are able to work even as they learn.”
Besides providing employment for youth and bridging the gap in the nursing workforce, the e-Learning initiative is also aimed at reducing the maternal and child mortality rates in Zambia. The infant mortality rate is just over 70 for every 1,000 live births while approximately 59,000 women die in child birth every year. By training more health workers efficiently and effectively, more women and children can access life-saving health care.