We are very proud to announce that the first incoming class of the Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery has finally arrived and commenced with orientation and preparatory classes. The progress over the past six months towards the commencement of this first class has been significant and worth noting. The coordinated efforts of all stakeholders under the direction Ms. Bilha Achieng, RMF Assistant Project Manager and prior UN Intern at the UNFPA, have successfully addressed a number of complex issues and challenges pertaining to the schools development.
Achievements during last reporting period:
Demographics of First Group of Students
The first class of Nursing and Midwifery students currently stands at 30 students, 18 nursing students and 12 midwife students. Of these, 10 are male and 20 are female. The highest number of students is from Eastern Equatoria and Central Equatoria. 1 student is from Western Equatoria State, 2 are from Upper Nile State, 8 from Eastern Equatoria and 9 from Central Equatoria.
Foundation Course and Course Materials
Two Tutors have been identified to start the program and the UNFPA is in the process of identifying IUNV tutors for the longer term. The World Health Organization will be ordering course materials in the next two weeks including computers, printers, textbooks, presentation equipment and skills lab equipment, and advocating for tutor support for 2011.
UNDP/Global Fund add funding support to College
We are greatly pleased to announce that the UNDP fund and their implementing partner Global Health Group are in the process of finalizing a grant for $1 Million to the construction of accommodation buildings for the students and tutors. Plans detail support to the project in terms of construction of 4 additional classrooms, dining room, kitchen and store room, recreational room and facilities, dormitories for 120 students, accommodation for 8 tutors. This greatly helps the viability of this project and ensures the success of the College as a whole. In addition, GF/UNDP will procure teaching aids and equipment worth $ 98,000. UNDP’s engineer visited Juba Teaching Hospital and held a meeting with DG Janet Michael this month to discuss the area of land that would be allocated for the college for further construction i.e. student hostels, kitchen and mess hall, additional classrooms and a recreational facility.
JICA commences with campus building planning/quotes
JICA, The Japanese International Cooperation Agency, has sent their official project architect to Juba to begin the process of final planning, costs quotations and commencement of school block upgrades and new building construction. JICA will be partnering in the College Project through TA Networking Corp, its implementing partner in Southern Sudan for the Human Resources for Health Development Project. TA Networking’s architect Mr. Iyogi Kazuhiko has circulated a MoU for signing by the different government and UN partners in order to get a ‘go- ahead’ from JICA to proceed with the renovations and the constructions. In a meeting held this month, Mr. Kazuhiko shared the architectural plans for the college (a revision of the previously circulated plans). The schedule for construction and renovations however remains the same. Construction/Renovation is estimated to begin in July.
St. Mary’s IOW, UK is coordinating to provide visiting Nurse and Midwife tutors.
The first student class is characterized by highly motivated and enthusiastic students. They recently sat for proficiency tests in Mathematics, English and Biology. Their performance is promising. They however seem to be facing several challenges in English though eager to improve their language and communication skills. Mary Lupai, UNFPA’s National Program Officer for Gender will be working with the English lecturer to tutor the students on communication skills on a voluntary basis. She has prior experience as a lecturer at Sudan Christian University College in Yei from 2004-2008.
Some of the land that had been allocated to the college at the Juba Teaching Hospital had been also allocated by the Central Equatoria State Minister for Health to the Egyptian government for the construction of clinic. DG Janet is currently following up on this and also pursuing an alternative allocation within the hospital compound.
The political uncertainty and security concerns in Southern Sudan associated with the CPA Referendum in 2011 remain the headline challenges. Higher-level government decisions affecting the college’s progress may be stalled as the national focus shifts to upcoming election. North Sudan’s government, which oversees the present nursing certificate program, has delayed budget determinations and exam dates, which have already pushed back the commencement date for the new program.
South Sudan’s high adult illiteracy rate among women has impacted the candidate selection process and requires a re-assessment of our interview and selection criteria. The Midwifery curriculum is still in process of development and approval.
Tasks for the next reporting period