ASSESSMENT AND SENSITIZATION
The process of establishing Nyangao School of Nursing took place in the years 2003 to 2012; this was done by Nurse Tutors in the schools of nursing in the Southern Zone. The idea came after noting that there was no school of Nursing in Lindi Diocese that will help our young men and women. The main participant for the process was Ms Tecla Ungele, who generated the idea
Ms. Tecla Ungele and her colleagues volunteered in various activities for the establishment of the school.
The following are Tutors who assisted Ms. Tekla Ungele:-
- Charles Chinguile – Newala school of Nursing
- Mapenzi Ghasia – Principal and Tutor of Nachingwea school of Nursing
- Betram Mnyani – from Clinical Officers Training College (COTC) Lindi
- Nassania Shango – Newala school of Nursing
- Masunga Iseselo – Newala school of Nursing
These Tutors contributed a lot in terms of constructive ideas, teaching materials, funds to cater for transport and meals while travelling to different areas for sensitization meetings, data collection and study visits.
In 2007, Ms. Tekla Ungele and her team visited Nyangao hospital to conduct a needs assessment, sensitization meetings for the possibility of establishing the school. They visited several departments and wards to check if it meets the requirements to be a teaching hospital according to Tanzania Nursing and Midwives Council (TNMC) guidelines. The team was satisfied with the environment, availability of patients and qualified nurses and doctors. Then the Hospital Management showed a positive response with the idea and together with the team went to see the buildings which previously where used for training Nursing Assistants known as “One year course”. Generally the infrastructures were in good condition, although they were few in number, they could enable to establish a school.
In 2008, Mama Ungele requested the Diocesan Health Secretary – Mr. T.X. Mrope to meet with the Bishop of Lindi Catholic Diocese Rev. Bruno Ngonyani; On 15th August, 2009 she and her team managed to meet the Bishop in Lindi Procure .
They talked to the Bishop; initially he was reluctant to begin a school of nursing, as he intended to establish a Laboratory school. On the other hand the Bishop was hesitating to establish a school of nursing as it may add a burden due to heavy workload of managing a school as currently he was under pressure of managing the three Diocesan hospitals namely; Nyangao, Mnero and Kipatimu.
But the team with courage, insisted to establish a nursing school, because nurses are multipurpose that can serve the hospital in various departments compared to laboratory technicians. Few other benefits of establishing a nursing school include:
- Nyangao hospital will have the status of a training centre “Teaching hospital”
- During training, students shall also be providing nursing care to clients and patients, hence improve the quality and standard of care.
- Upon graduation the nurses shall reduce the problem of shortage of health care workers in Lindi Region, particularly in Diocesan Hospitals.
- Nyangao hospital will attract Development Partners who are intending to assist Health Personnel Training.
- Being a Faith-based School; the training will serve as an evangelism for both community and students.
- Facilitating employment to youth, will reduce unemployment, teenage pregnancy and poverty in families.
- There will be sustainability of the school results from contributions of stakeholders and cost sharing from students and guardians.
Finally the Bishop agreed to the idea of establishing a school of Nursing at Nyangao hospital instead of a laboratory school.
The team still continued to encourage the Bishop to establish the school as after few years the school will manage to take part and stand on its own due to contributions and cost sharing from students.
Ms Tekla Ungele and her team requested to visit the buildings that were used as a “Home – craft school” for girls. The team assessed the buildings including classes, dormitories, offices, dining room, assembly hall, toilets, kitchen and other services that can be of beneficial if the school of nursing could be established.
On 3rd November, 2010 Ms. Tekla Ungele and her team in collaboration with Vicar General Rev. Fr. Ernest Chikawe and the Diocesan Health secretary; went to meet with Mother Prioress of Tutzing Sisters’ Convent Ndanda Sr. Dr. Raphaela.
After a brief explanation of the idea, Mother Prioress Sr. Dr. Raphaela agreed with the idea and also said she intends to close the “Home craft school” for girls, and she was thinking of establishing other type of training that could be useful and meet the demands of 21st century.
Mother Prioress Sr. Dr. Raphaela accepted and appreciated the idea and committed to seek help from various sources within the country and overseas.
Ms. Tekla Ungele consulted different Health management teams in Lindi and Mtwara, Zonal Health Resource Centre (ZHRC) in Mtwara, GIZ, and Ministry of Health (MOHCDGEC). Other stakeholders involved were Tanzania Nurses and Midwives Council (TNMC), National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) and others within and outside the country.
Several stakeholders’ meetings were held in Lindi and Mtwara regions for sensitization and advocate the importance of establishing a school of Nursing at Nyangao.
Nurse tutors from several schools in Lindi and Mtwara regions were involved and contributed various ideas on how to manage the school and various costs.
In 2011 Ms. Tekla Ungele and her team continued collaborating with other schools, e.g. St. Gasper School of Nursing Itigi in Singida, Kibosho school of Nursing in Moshi, Ndanda school of Nursing and Newala school of Nursing in Mtwara region to get some experiences, especially on the management of the school, financial and other contributions. The team managed to prepare a report on cost sharing and other contributions.
On 27th January, 2012; Dr. Winfred Zacher and Dr. Max Makota from Nyangao Hospital visited Newala School of nursing to get more details and experiences on how to run the school. The report on requirements (infrastructure) and cost sharing was submitted to them by Ms. T. Ungele.
Dr. Zacher and Dr. Makota were satisfied with brief explanation given and the stipulated cost sharing gave the true picture and possibility of sustainability of the school after establishment.
FEASIBILITY STUDY AND SETTING UP OF SCHOOL
When Dr. Zacher – who had known and supported Nyangao hospital before, in his position of Country Director of German Development Service in the 90ies – was on a visit to Tanzania in 2011 he was asked by the then Dr. i/c and the hospital administrator to do a feasibility study on the setup of the nursing school. This was done – supported by the German Senior Expert Service in January/February 2012. He and Dr. Max Makota visited the Nursing Schools in Ndanda, Nachingwea, Masasi and Newala to get first-hand-information and advice from principals and staff. They also consulted Sr. Raphaela, then prioress in Ndanda, the Bishop and other key staff of the Diocese of Lindi, with the RAS, the RMO and the DMO in Lindi Nursing and the Training Department in the Ministry of Health, AMREF, GIZ and VSO in Dar Es Salaam. Their essential considerations and findings, which were compiled in an extensive study paper (cp. https://www.nyangaohospital.or.tz"), were presented in a second round of visits to most of the people contacted during the first round in order to get their opinion on how to proceed.
Conceptually the essentials for the set up of the future school were:
– There is a big need and a big demand for nurses in Tanzania, in the South even more so than in other areas.
– The school thus should provide for a professional training in an area where there are hardly any such facilities
– Such an opportunity should be open especially to young women and to poor students as both groups have less chances than others
– The School will need to be financially completely self-dependent as support from outside cannot be expected after the set up phase.
The most important findings of the feasibility study were:-
– That most people agreed that it would be very helpful for the hospital, the district, the region and the country to set up such a new nursing school in Nyangao;
– That it would need an amount of TZS 330 Mio. For investment in renovation, in equipment and in building staff houses; TZS 170 Mio. Would be required to set up a “revolving fund” which would enable poor students who could not afford the fees to get a loan which they would later on repay from their salaries after getting employed. The total amount to get the School started thus added up to TZS 500 Mio. If some housing were to be built for teachers the total would come to about 650 Mio.
– That no institution and no person on the Tanzanian side was able or willing to contribute any funding to start the School. Only vague promises on future “support” and “help” were made.
Therefore Dr. Zacher was asked by the Diocese and the Hospital administration to try to raise the necessary funding from German sources. He wrote extensive applications for funding to a number of organisations after the Bishop had given his official “go ahead” in May 2012.
The following donors pledged support:
– German International Cooperation (GIZ)
TZS 25 Mio
– Kindermissionswerk Aachen
TZS 90 Mio
– Diocese of Rottenburg/Stuttgart
TZS 100 Mio
– Solidarity Mnero/Ministry of economic coop.
TZS 100 Mio
– Arch Diocese of Cologne
TZS 60 Mio
– Missionary Benedictines of St. Ottilien
TZS 70 Mio
– Sr. Raphaela – Mission. Sisters of Tutzing
TZS 250 Mio
In February 2013 the decision was taken to start with the implementation process although by that time not all pledges had been received yet and some applications were still in the “pipeline”.
The renovation of the old school buildings and building 3 staff houses was a difficult and tedious process. It was initiated and monitored by the then Dr. i/c – Dr. Max Makota – and the then administrator – Mr. Ronald Wagisha. Both spent a lot of energy and invested a lot of time in the setup of the school. The treasurer of the Diocese also helped a lot with the building sites.
- Concurrently furniture, tools for the skills lab, the library, the computer lab and other equipment were ordered to ensure that delivery and set-up were completed by Sept/Oct. 2013. A principal and teachers as well as support staff were recruited in due course. The hospital started to plan for students to be taught in the wards and hospital set-up. Nurses for clinical instruction and helping as nurse preceptors were identified. As soon as the school starts, all attempts were made to meet with the pre-requisites for provisional registration from the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) and the Tanzanian Nurse-Midwifery-Council (TNMC); applications were handed in for a speedy registration.
Applications from students had been received since Nov. 2013. After finally receiving the provisional registration from NACTE and the approval from TNMC in March 2014 the School could finally open in April 2014 with a first intake of 46 students.
IMPLEMENTATION OF NURSING CURRICULUM
It was officiated by the Rev. Bruno Ngonyani, the Bishop of Lindi, on 08.03.2014, Saturday.
Many representatives from Lindi and Mtwara Dioceses and Government Institutions attended the ceremony. Donors and sponsors for the school were represented by Sr. Raphaela who participated the occasion.
Meanwhile students for the first intake had reported to school since 15.02.2014, but classes could not start because the process of getting permit from TNMC was on progress. The school had been granted provisional registration by NACTE since December 2013.
It was necessary to have a permit from TNMC before commencement of the course. For this an alternative was discussed as to start Computer sessions as the module does not relate directly to nursing topics. Computer sessions were started by Mid March 2014.
Communication with TNMC went on whereby they required relevant records of Tutors present at the school. The acting principal at that time, Ms. Germane Nkane, went to TNMC office at Dar to present the documents on 22.03.2014.
On 10.04.2014, the Registrar conveyed the message of the permit via mobile phone to Ms. Thekla Ungele. She then phoned to school and informed the Acting Principal that the school had been allowed to start the nursing course.
With pleasure teachers started to teach students nursing modules for TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATE as stipulated in the curriculum.
At this time there were 2 full time teachers.
- Acting principal Ms. Germane Nkane
- Grace Diasana Lourds (V.S.O)
- Part time teachers from Nyangao Hospital
- Grace Wambyakale (RN)
- Sabina Ndaka (RN)
- Miss Joyce Mpakulo (RN).
Some teachers from other schools in the Southern Zone were invited to come and offer help to teach during this initial stage.
At this time were:-
- Tekla Ungele (NT) from Newala NTC (IPC)
- Mathew Ndomondo (NT) from Mtwara NTC (Anatomy/Physiology) and
- Somoe Tulinje (RN) from Newala NTC (Nutrition).
Later Mama Elvira Makota (Retired Nurse Tutor) was asked to come for a discussion of a contract so as to strengthen the teaching staff. She agreed to offer help and she started to work on 15.05.2014. The official letter for the permit was received on 27.05.2014.
The 1st Intake Class 2014/16 April – were 46 students at the beginning of the course, 1 student left school to continue teachers course he started before applying for nursing course, 3 students were discontinued by TNMC due to forged certificates and 1 student was discontinued due to failure in resit of semester I year 1 examination and poor progress.
I student was given permission to go home for treatment at Consultant hospitals as she was frequently sick that she was not attending classes as required. So the total number of students who attempted the state qualifying examination was 39 as one student opted to attempt it with the next group (2nd Intake) Class 2014/16 November.
In order to keep the school busy, we recruited the students for the 2nd Intake in November 2014. The application for this group was through NACTE Central Admission System (CAS) – on line. It was a new system and somehow complicated, so only 18 students reported to school.
The provisional registration was valid for 2 years only. In June 2015 six months before expiry of the 2 years, the application for full registration was filled. When the NACTE verification team visited the school, they offered an extension of provisional registration for other 2 years.
All in all our Sponsors had devoted much for the setting up of the school, this included stake holders within and outside the country especially Catholic Diocese of Colon, Mnero Solidarity, and Tutzing Sisters of Germany.
To honor the Sponsors efforts, the teachers worked with devotion day and night to enable the Vision to be achieved.
By the time this short history is being written the school had already two intakes, with total of 56 students, who completed the course well.