Cardiff University School of Healthcare Sciences collaborate with the University of Namibia School of Nursing and UNAM Cares
5 November 2021
A collaboration of nursing academic staff from University of Namibia (Professor Louise Pretorius, Mrs Lilian Masule and Mrs Justa De Klerk), Cardiff University School of Healthcare Sciences nursing staff (Dr Anna Jones, Mr Ricky Hellyar) and Aneurin Bevan ICU practice educator (Mrs Karla Hobbs) worked together to produce teaching and education materials on Oxygen Therapy, for delivery to nurses and healthcare professionals in Namibia.
117 nurses and healthcare professionals across six regions in Namibia currently caring for patients suffering from COVID-19, have received oxygen therapy education and practical training.
Education commenced in Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia and proceeded to Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi region where Honourable Lawrence Alufea Sampofu, Governor of the Zambezi region commended Cardiff University’s Phoenix Project lead, the UNAM Cares’ Lead, Dr Rachel Freeman and Lead Nurse Academic Trainers, Mrs. Lilian Masule & Mrs. Justa De Klerk on the education for nurses and healthcare professionals working in high care units under the Wales and Africa ‘Oxygen Namibia’ Grant:
‘This training is a noble gesture from the University of Namibia and Cardiff University through the UNAM Cares project to strengthen the health sectors’ response to COVID-19. The Office of the Zambezi Governor appreciates the impactful contribution by the respected Universities.’
The Cardiff team stated: ‘Being involved, as part of the School of Healthcare Sciences and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, in delivering to education to aid the care of patients who are suffering from SARS-CoV-2 has been a privilege; to share and develop education packages alongside the fantastic UNAM nurse education team and UNAM cares project to enable them to deliver education to nurses and healthcare practitioners across Namibia is humbling. It has been a wonderful opportunity and we will continue to grow and sustain our links and networks, enabling our teaching and learning cultures to flourish.’
Thankfully, after battling a terrible third wave of Covid-19, Namibia is now starting to recover. However, with vaccination rates still low, a fourth wave is expected. The education and training are preparing Namibian nurses and healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills required to successfully deliver care to patients with COVID-19. The education and resources also included guidance and support on and for the well-being of healthcare practitioners, their colleagues and peers.
This whole activity has been supported by a very generous grant from the Welsh Government’s Wales and Africa funding stream, given to the Phoenix Project in Cardiff University and then shared for implementation by UNAM Cares and the School of Nursing in UNAM. The Namibia-based team have been tireless and unrelenting in their delivery, they have done a fantastic job.
The UNAM staff have covered different regions in Namibia to train as many healthcare professionals as possible, to improve the care and outcomes of patients with COVID-19. Regions include Khomas, Zambezi, Kavango-East, Oshana, Oshikoto and Karas. This education and training, alongside the recent donation of PPE by the Welsh Government, hopes to improve patient outcomes and current difficulties in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Namibia.
Christopher, an emergency department nurse from Katima Mulilo hospital stated:
‘[The workshop has] improved our way of thinking, our way forward, and given us hope that we can make it…This training will help a lot when it comes to a critical emergency like COVID related illness such as asthma. I’ve learnt good communication skills, using proper PPE, and making the patient feel at ease.’
The whole international team philosophy is one of collaboration and co-production for sustainable change and our repository of COVID-19 training resources continues to build. We anticipate a fruitful on-going collaboration.