South Sudan: Training tomorrow’s health professionals
Even as South Sudan celebrated its second Independence Day this month, the country continues to face major hurdles on its path to development. With some of the poorest health indicators in the world, progress in the country’s health sector continues to be very slow. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of qualified medical professionals.
In Rumbek, the capital of Lakes State in central South Sudan, the Order of Malta’s worldwide relief agency, Malteser International is working to change this situation. Since May, Malteser International has been managing the newly formed Rumbek Health Training School (RHTS), which merges its laboratory training school with Rumbek’s nursing school.
The RHTS is expected to produce at least 106 qualified graduates (48 nurses and 58 laboratory technicians) by early 2016. With a total of 9 tutors and clinical instructors, the three-year program also counts on an optimal student-teacher ratio.
“We hope Malteser International will advance the RHTS to become a well-recognized training school,” said Samuel Maketh, training director at the South Sudan’s Ministry of Health, at the school’s opening ceremony. “The focus is on creating an enabling learning and teaching environment for both students and tutors.”
Before the merging of the schools, Malteser International had already been running Rumbek’s medical laboratory training school since 2002. 85 laboratory technicians graduated from the program.