A new plaque hangs outside the University of Zambia’s medical school that soon will display the name of a graduating nurse who has exhibited excellence in the areas of maternal and child health. This award, made possible by Jhpiego, will be given to a student who embodies the school’s motto, “Excellence and Service,” and reflects Jhpiego’s mission of “innovating to save lives.” The first award will be presented to a member of the 2013 graduating class.
Dr. Leslie Mancuso, Jhpiego’s President and CEO who is a nurse, was especially pleased that the university chose to honor a nursing school graduate. “Nurses are integral to the health care system in Zambia and deliver the majority of maternal and child health services to Zambians,” Dr. Mancuso said. “Nurses who excel at their work help women stay healthy and thrive so they can care for their families.”
Jhpiego donated the plaque to the university’s medical school and its Department of Nursing Sciences and provided five trophies. During a recent visit to Zambia, Dr. Mancuso unveiled the plaque. The award is intended to motivate both students and faculty to achieve higher performance in the field of maternal and child health, including the care of newborns, and to help prevent the needless deaths of women and children.
The Department of Nursing at the University of Zambia, School of Medicine opened in 1976 and offered basic training for nurses and midwives. Since the 1990s, the school has offered a Bachelor of Science in nursing, a Master’s Degree in nursing and training programs in community health. Graduates from these programs comprise the dedicated corps of tutors and lecturers who educate nursing and midwifery students. The school is in the process of introducing courses in psychiatry and mental health, midwifery, pediatrics, intensive care and emergency, and oncology nursing.