Uganda:Education minister warns Nurses as UNMEB performance reduces

The Uganda Nurses and Midwives Education Board (UNMEB) has reported a drop in the overall performance of students who sat the 2016 diploma and certificate examinations compared to the 2015 cohort. The results released last Friday has shown that eight out of every 10 of the students who sat for the 2016 certificate examinations passed, marginally lower than the 2015 pass rate.
At diploma level, comparative performance dropped by eight percentage points.
In spite of the continued poor performance of the nursing students, the results UNMEB authorities presented to the Education Minister, Ms Janet Kataha Museveni has shown that half of the students (51.7 per cent on certificate) in Nursing and Midwifery passed with credits while diploma had a 61 per cent credit pass. There were fewer distinctions at both levels.
According to UNMEB, the enrollments at both levels have increased. The results show that about 900 out of the 3,905 failed the certificate examination.
In total, 1,000 more candidates in 2016 took the examinations at the 64 accredited nurse training institutions than in 2015. Eight in every 10 of these were female students.
Presenting the results, Ms Helen Mukakarisa Kataratambi, the UNMEB executive secretary, said most institutions have inadequate numbers of tutors and appealed to government to support them to improve the country’s health human resource.
Withheld results
Results of 15 students were withheld for failing to complete all academic and professional requirements while four others will be subjected to six months’ hospital-based mentorship and practical training for adequate skills after they submitted incomplete and fraudulent clinical records.
Ms Museveni has asked for a review of the nursing curriculum to have their ethical training more prominent in handling patients. “There are increasing reports of cruel, insensitive and unethical conduct and behavior among health professionals,”
She added: “Apart from openly displaying their discomfort while handling patients, who understandably deserve and expect greater care and compassion, it is not uncommon to see some of them shouting and displaying all forms of disgust at patients. The call for curriculum reform that should result in greater prominence being given to content in health workers’ ethics, professional etiquette and code of conduct is justified.
On a lighter note, she applauded the Mulago Nursing students for being able to sing the National and East African anthems without any aid but wondered why their hands were drawn close to their chest as they sang the nurses’ anthem and not during the National Anthem.
She appealed to the public to accord equal respect to the National Anthem as they do to individual institutions and cultural anthems.
Although she didn’t mention how many, Ms Museveni promised to construct more training facilities for health tutors tasking the commissioner Business Technical and Vocational Education Training, Ms Sarah Namuli, to work with the ministry of Education planning department to come up with a concept paper for this.

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