Byline: Elezo Libanda
Katima Mulilo, July 5. In recent years, the nation has witnessed a surge in the establishment of nursing colleges. Traditionally, nurses, pharmacists, and social workers were trained by esteemed educational institutions such as the University of Namibia (UNAM), the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), and the International University of Management (IUM). However, the landscape has evolved, with new players emerging and even surpassing these educational giants. One contributing factor may be the reduced tuition fees offered by these newcomers in the health training industry.
Previously, the Ministry of Health and Social Services had to rely on foreign-trained nurses, particularly from Zambia and Zimbabwe. However, this trend might become a thing of the past, as the country is now training more nurses locally. Recently, a group of nurses graduated in Katima Mulilo, much to the delight of parents. This local training option reduces the financial burden of renting accommodations in other towns. Ms. Sanyambe, a parent interviewed by NDN, expressed her satisfaction, noting that she only has to cover tuition fees and transportation costs to and from Shiramed Nursing College in Katima Mulilo. She added that raising children attending tertiary education in distant cities is challenging due to the high cost of living. Staying with her children until they become self-sufficient is the best option, Sanyambe stated.
Nursing is widely regarded as a prestigious profession in Namibia, attracting young women from underprivileged backgrounds. Despite facing critical challenges such as salary disparities between private and government hospitals and long working hours, nurses remain dedicated to their profession, driven by their passion to save lives. The town of Katima Mulilo proudly hosts four nursing colleges: Shiramed, Welwitchia Health Training, Tulipohamba Training and Assessment, and Eureka Training Institute. As more and more nurses graduate from these institutions, the future of foreign-trained nurses in the country becomes uncertain.
The emergence of additional nursing colleges reflects a positive shift in healthcare training. By providing local opportunities for aspiring nurses, the nation is building a self-sufficient workforce that can meet the healthcare needs of its population. – Namibia Daily News