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World Services promotes creative solution to Tanzanian education challenge

Nursing education in Tanzania is about to take a giant leap forward, thanks to some creative thinking by World Services, its funding source the American International Health Alliance (AIHA), and its partner consultants from Winona State University.

AIHA recently extended its contract with World Services to continue collaborating with partners in Tanzania to improve nursing in the African nation. World Services along with Lisa Schnepper, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, and Gayle Olsen, RN, MS, CPNP, from Winona State University teamed with the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences School of Nursing and the Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to revise and update curriculum for the nation’s nursing education program, a critical component in achieving the overall objective.

Tanzania and Winona nurse educators revise Tanzania curriculum

Winona State University nursing faculty volunteers, Lisa Schnepper and Gayle Olsen work with Tanzania partners to revise and update nursing education.

The challenge now is getting the updated materials into the hands of some 9,000 nursing students in Tanzania, none of whom have textbooks. Making matters worse, the cost of printing all those materials for students, not to mention professors, is well outside the scope of available funding. And the cost of keeping them updated as advances continue made the prospect entirely unfeasible.

The solution: provide the materials electronically. Beginning next month, Tanzania partners, in conjunction with World Services and its funding source the American International Health Alliance, will pilot a project in two nursing schools where professors and students will have all materials loaded to tablets. The pilot requires thinking through a number of logistics, such as powering the tablets in a country where electricity is not reliable.

But it appears promising enough that the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has indicated their office, upon success of the pilot, will support a plan to assure that every nursing student in the country has access to a tablet at an affordable price.

The tablets mean new knowledge and techniques can easily be integrated to the curriculum going forward, and nursing students will have the curriculum at their fingertips to improve learning and retention.

World Services welcomes you to support this project. If you would like to help, please donate.