DSU Welcomes Tanzanian Nurses to Educational Exchange Program
Monday, May 18th, 2015
After traveling for 30 hours and traversing 10,000 miles to reach St. George, 10 nurses from the United Republic of Tanzania received a warm greeting Monday morning from members of the Dixie State University community and Utah State Legislature during a welcome reception.
In southern Utah to participate in Dixie State’s seven-week Tanzania Nurses Educational Exchange (TNEE), the nurses, clad in shirts depicting their country’s flag, took turns expressing their gratitude for the opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge relevant to their careers. Hailing from communities throughout the eastern African country, the participants all shared a resolve to teach other nurses when they return home.
Selected from nearly 70 nurses who applied, the chosen professionals are receiving this training in an effort to address Tanzania’s severe shortage of nursing tutors and inadequate resources in nursing schools. The DSU TNEE program, which has been made possible by the Colom Foundation and private donations obtained by Utah State Senator Steve Urquhart, will build upon the nurses’ previously acquired training and skills.
The partnership between Dixie State’s Department of Nursing and nursing educational programs in Tanzania supports the Tanzania Global Health Initiative (GHI) Strategy. The initiative aims to improve the health of all Tanzanians, especially those who are the most vulnerable: women, girls, newborns, and children younger than 5 years old. Additionally, the GHI supports the United Republic of Tanzania’s national health goal to reduce maternal, neonatal, and childhood deaths. For every 100,000 live births in Tanzania, 450 mothers don’t survive childbirth. Comparatively, in the U.S., 28 of 100,000 mothers don’t survive.
The nurses will participate in advanced clinical experiences in local health care facilities, simulation scenario exercises and lectures on maternal-child health. Dixie Regional Medical Center will provide varied clinical experiences for the Tanzanian nurses with an emphasis on labor and delivery, postpartum, neonatal intensive, pediatric care, and women’s healthcare nursing.
Officials at the welcoming ceremony, including Dixie State President Richard B. Williams and Dean of DSU’s School of Health Sciences Carole Grady, said the exchange is a mutually beneficial program. In addition to looking forward to trying Tanzanian cuisine, the officials said they are excited for the nurses to teach them everything from Tanzanian medical practices to facts about their country, customs and culture.
“We will grow to love you, and I hope you will grow to love us too,” Dr. William J. Christensen, DSU Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, told the group of nurses. “It will be hard to say goodbye, I can already see that.”