6,000 Zambian youth will receive nursing training through an e-learning
program developed by ChildFund International, a global child development
and protection organization, and the African Medical and Research
Foundation (AMREF), in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. The
Zambia Nurse and Life Skills Training Program will offer Zambian youth
the opportunity to train in the field of nursing through e-learning and
help address the shortage of trained health professionals in the country.
Currently, Zambia does not have enough human resources to meet health
care demands. At present, the nurse population ratio stands at 1 nurse
for every 1,500 people, which is far lower than the World Health
Organization's recommended nurse-to-population ratio of 1 to 700. The
major cause for the shortage is the limited capacity of nursing schools
that can train students to meet the growing health care needs of the
Within five years, the project is expected to train 6,000 young people
as nurses and midwives, and expand the capacity of nursing schools in
Zambia. Additionally, 1,631 financially disadvantaged young people will
have access to full and partial scholarships.
"We want to tap into the potential that is inherent in young people -
the energy, the curiosity and exploration," said Doras Chirwa, program
director with ChildFund Zambia. "I think the use of e-learning provides
a fantastic platform to reach more youth at any time with lower costs,
and it facilitates self-learning."
The e-learning component will allow nursing and midwife training schools
in Zambia to reach more students through technology and will integrate a
life skills curriculum that will give students the intrpersonal skills
needed for the workplace. Students will be able to access study
materials and complete assignments at e-learning centers or at home.
"We are excited to partner with ChildFund on this innovative program
that will help address some of the human resource challenges faced by
the health care system in Zambia," said Deepali Khanna, director of
youth learning at The MasterCard Foundation. "Through the use of
technology, the e-learning model has the potential to reach
disadvantaged young people, particularly young women, so they can gain
the skills they need to become nurses and midwives."
In June 2014, the program introduced the first intake of 131 student
nurses - 72 percent of whom are female - into the newly designed
Maureen Bwalya, a 19-year-old who lost both her parents when she was a
child, is one of the first students enrolled in the e-learning program
and is a recipient of a partial scholarship. With a limited income,
Bwalya is excited about the prospect of a brighter future.
"Thank you so much for awarding me with this scholarship," Bwalya says.
"I am very grateful. The scholarship that you have given me will help me
a lot. I promise to work hard and not disappoint."
As valued stakeholders integral to the development and adoption of this
program, ChildFund and AMREF engage and work alongside colleagues with
the Ministry of Health (MOH) and General Nursing Council (GNC) to
increase the number of students enrolled in health training institutions
ChildFund International is a global child development and protection
agency serving more than 18.1 million children and family members in 30
countries. For 75 years, we have helped the world's deprived, excluded
and vulnerable children survive and thrive to reach their full potential
and become leaders of enduring change. As a member of ChildFund
Alliance, we create supportive environments in which children can
flourish. For more information about ChildFund visit www.ChildFund.org.
About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based
in Toronto, Canada, with more than $9 billion in assets. Through
collaboration with partner organizations in 46 countries, it is creating
opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation's
programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly
in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard
Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is a separate
and independent entity. The policies, operations and funding decisions
of the Foundation are determined by its own Board of Directors and
President and CEO. For more information on the Foundation, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org.
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