12 July 2022
I was filled with pride and joy to be able to witness the day that national expertise had the capacity to lead such an important task of reviewing the national nursing and midwifery BSc curricula.
It took time, effort and dedication to reach this historic point. The seeds for this achievement were carefully planted 20 years ago, through the health partnership between Somaliland, THET and King’s College London.
Over the past two decades nursing and midwifery training curricula were developed and revised many times to meet the national healthcare demand as well as the international standards. The process was often facilitated by an international expert, and based on national needs and aspirations.
What makes this experience unique is that the consultant who led the nursing curriculum review process, Edna Adan Dahir, was one of the nursing students who was trained through the Health Partnership Scheme 15 years ago. This is a clear indication of the long-lasting impact of the partnership and indeed the sustainability of the work that took place over the last 20 years. The second consultant, Khadra Jama Egal, was a diaspora nurse midwife trained in UK.
The partnership supported health workforce capacity building through a serious of trainings, plus the development and strengthening of national nursing and midwifery schools, associations and regulatory bodies. The development of the national nursing and midwifery education standards in 2021, supported by THET and implemented by Somaliland’s National Health Professions Commission (NHPC), laid the foundation for the nursing and midwifery BSc curricula review process to meet the national and international standards required to accredit nursing and midwifery training programs.
Somaliland’s nursing and midwifery training programs face many challenges in terms of resource availability at school level and clinical environment level to be able to implement the curricula successfully. The Somaliland Ministry of Health & Development decided that these degree programs should meet the international standards and expectations as far as is possible, while addressing the health needs of the community and the issues faced in the healthcare system. This includes: limited access to healthcare, especially because the majority of Somaliland’s population are nomadic; the burden of internal and external migration; the effect of global warming on the environment which is leading to draught and malnutrition across all age groups; and finally emerging diseases like Covid-19.
Educators who participated in the curriculum review workshop were excited and expressed appreciation that a national consultant who understood local health challenges was leading the process and could offer guidance and advice on many issues that they face in students’ clinical placement. Therefore, the curricula documents have several annexes that were requested by the different regional schools to guide them in the curricula implementation process.
The BSc curricula review process established networking and collaboration between various regional nursing and midwifery training schools in Somaliland. By July 2022, an exchange of external OSCE examiners was initiated between schools, thus, improving the quality of nursing and midwifery training and facilitating the sharing of experiences.
Finally, the revised nursing and midwifery curricula will ensure that all graduates will be educated both clinically and academically to the same standards throughout Somaliland, and will be fit for registration and licensing by the National Health Profession Commission.
It’s expected that the nursing and midwifery degree programs will produce competent and innovative nurses and midwives who are able to focus on skilled evidence-based practice and provide leadership, management and education for other nurses and midwives.