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The President was Sunday speaking at celebrations to mark 60 years of the Jinja School of Nursing and Midwifery (JSNM) in Jinja.
The ceremony coincided with the graduation of over 396 students of nursing from various countries including Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan.
Addressing a congregation of students, their parent and educators, at the institute’s campus in Jinja municipality, the President congratulated the 359 students who graduated in different disciplines that included diplomas in comprehensive nursing, diplomas in midwifery, diplomas in nursing, and diplomas in pediatric nursing as well as certificates in comprehensive nursing.
The President said that he has always advocated for the teaching of nursing just like other science disciplines because they provide answers to the real human needs.
“You are at the right place at the right time and on the right course” the President told the students, adding that their profession is in line with “real human life” thus they were very unlikely to unemployed.
He said that he founded Mbarara University of Science and Technology and guided it to specialize in the teaching of sciences including a degree in nursing and noted that all the science students from the university are easily absorbed in the labor market.
He advised the graduate nurses to exhibit the highest level of professionalism and improve the image of nurses that has been tainted with increased reports of nurse mishandling patients in conducting their duties in Uganda.
“In the nurses anthem, they say they are holy people, chosen by God, but where do the ones who behave badly in hospitals come from? That when a pregnant woman is in pain, they tell her to call the one responsible for the pregnancy. Having heard this anthem, am sure we are going to have really holy nurses,” he said.
The President said that government would engage all the stakeholders as well as the ministries of education and health to decide which ministry should be entrusted with the supervision of nurses to ensure that the nurses and midwives Uganda is producing are the best in the world.
The Education Minister Jessica Alupo said that her ministry prioritizes competence based training in health education and technical training with emphasis on training of instructors and career guidance. She pledged her ministry’s support to the institution in establishment of their new proposed campus.
The chairman of the institution’s governing council Dr. George Bagambisa said that the institution is aiming at being the icon of nursing and midwifery in Uganda and the whole world and commended the current and previous leadership of the institute for their contribution to the development of the school.
He said that the institution’s vision was in line with Uganda’s vision 2040 and commended the President and the government for the support they have rendered the institution.