KAMPALA. Government has launched new curricula for nurses, pharmacies, anaesthetic officers and theatre technicians to equip them with updated relevant skills required in advancing health services.
According to Dr Vincent Oketcho, the chief of party of the strengthening Human Resources for Health project (Intrahealth International), review of the various curricula for health workers was informed by the changing health needs that include; new diseases and changes in treatment methods.
“The most important thing that informed the curricula review is the changing health needs over time. Most of these curricula are more than 10 years old,” Dr Oketcho said.
He added that the old curricula were outdated and no longer addressing the career growth needs of the health professionals.
“For example the Public health nurses got just a diploma after getting two previous diplomas and needed to upgrade their academic qualification. At this time we needed an advanced dipoloma that they can be paid appropriate salaries,” Dr Oketcho added.
Over the past four years, Dr Oketcho said the USAID Strengthening Human Resources for Health Activity has supported the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health to improve quality of pre-service training in Uganda by reviewing and updating curricula of critical cadres of health workers and make them competence based and relevant to meet the changing needs of the population and provide quality health care.
While officiating at the an event to launch of the new curricula held in Kampala on Tuesday, the State Minister for Sports Mr Charles Bakkabulindi, said the curriculum review is meant to provide quality assurance in the delivery of health services by the various carders.
“The new curricula is meant to strengthen the skills for nurses and other allied health professionals,” Mr Bakkabulinde said as he asked nurses to stop putting on “gloomy faces while attending to patients.”
The Minister said the curricula will contribute to training of health care workers in both the Public and Private Health Training Institutions across the country.
He said the absence of a doctor at a health facility should not stall service delivery as nurses should be empowered to offer nursing services to a patient as they wait for a medical doctor to offer consultation services.
The courses whose curricula have been reviewed include: Diploma in pharmacy, advanced diploma in Public health nursing, higher diploma in anaesthesia, certificate in nursing and the curriculum for the certificate in medical theatre technicians.
Other curricula being reviewed are for Clinical Medicine and Community Health training programmes; Curriculum for Diploma Nursing (Direct), Curriculum for Diploma Nursing (Extension) along with their teacher’s guides and student logbooks.
Mr Charles Isabirye, a senior advisor on pre-service training based at Intrahealth International said there have been some gaps in terms of professional conduct thus the review.
“There have been many changes, in terms of immunization, there have been very many antigens introduced. We used to have six killer diseases but we now have about 10 killer diseases and the curricula does not capture that,” Mr Isabirye said, adding that there have also been changes in technology.
The review conducted with funding from the United States Agency for international development (USAID) with technical assistance from intrahealth International.