Meet Sibusisiwe, affectionately known as Sibu, a remarkable nursing student on the brink of a significant milestone.

Her journey is not just about fulfilling a personal dream; it also holds the promise of addressing critical healthcare needs in Zambia.

A Dream Inspired by Her Mother

Sibu’s story is an inspiring one. Her passion for nursing was ignited by her mother, a dedicated healthcare worker. After completing high school, Sibu embarked on a nursing certificate course.

However, realizing the importance of further education and the changing landscape of nursing qualifications in Zambia, she decided to pursue a recognized nursing diploma.

“The sky is not the limit; you can still go ahead and fight [for] your dreams.” – Sibu

In 2022, Sibu and 550 other certificate nurses enrolled in the abridged nursing diploma program developed by Amref Health Africa, in collaboration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Zambia and the Zambia Ministry of Health.

This program offers a flexible and accelerated pathway to upgrade the skills of healthcare workers.

Empowering Through Digital Learning: The “JIBU” Platform

What sets this program apart is its use of digital learning through Amref’s E-platform, “JIBU,” meaning “Answer” in Swahili.

This platform provides students like Sibu with convenient access to course materials online and via a mobile application, enabling them to study at their own pace while staying on track to complete the diploma in just one year.

Progress tracking is seamlessly integrated, making it easy for students to monitor their growth.

For Sibu, this program is not just a fast track to a diploma but a means to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming a recognized nurse in Zambia.

Impact Beyond Education: Strengthening Zambia’s Healthcare Workforce

This innovative approach to nursing education is not only transforming individual lives but also contributing to Zambia’s healthcare workforce.

With a far from ideal nurse-to-patient ratio, increasing the number of trained healthcare workers is crucial for the country’s health system.

The importance of training more nurses extends beyond healthcare; it has far-reaching economic and societal benefits.

Investing in nurses strengthens primary healthcare, increases access to healthcare services for women, children, and adolescents, and ultimately builds a healthier and more prosperous nation.

Educating Women: Empowering a Nation

Sibu’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of education, especially for women. As she eloquently puts it, “Once you have a female child educated, it’s really a good thing. It’s like you have educated the whole nation.”

Sibu’s pursuit of her nursing diploma through digital learning represents a positive step towards addressing healthcare challenges in Zambia.

It’s a story of determination, empowerment, and the potential for lasting change in the healthcare sector.

“Give us the opportunity, and we will seize it.” – Sibu

(Photo credit: Amref Health Africa / David Brazier)

Story credit: Amref Health Africa / Amref Health Africa in Zambia