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Uganda’s male nurses should take heart and not be discouraged

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th March 2008 03:00 AM

EDITOR — Robert Zavuga’s piece about male nurses (The New Vision, February 28), reminds me of our own struggle over 40 years ago. Prior to the training of the first male nurses in the early 1960s, nursing assistants (virtually all male) were trained for two years and would later become medical a

EDITOR — Robert Zavuga’s piece about male nurses (The New Vision, February 28), reminds me of our own struggle over 40 years ago. Prior to the training of the first male nurses in the early 1960s, nursing assistants (virtually all male) were trained for two years and would later become medical a

EDITOR — Robert Zavuga’s piece about male nurses (The New Vision, February 28), reminds me of our own struggle over 40 years ago. Prior to the training of the first male nurses in the early 1960s, nursing assistants (virtually all male) were trained for two years and would later become medical assistants.

Lira Medical Training Centre (now Lira School of Nursing) and another school in Masaka trained the pioneer male nurses for three years and three months. The outcome was a qualified “Certificated Nurse” or enrolled nurse. The tutors were all whites, who had formerly served in the British military services or medical corps. We went on strike over the idea of calling us nurses and submitted a memorandum to the ministry headquarters. In response, the ministry dispatched a delegation of top senior medical officers to Lira. Around the same time, Mulago nurses were up in arms against the introduction of wearing numbers (not name tags) on their uniforms. We even engaged the services of a Member of Parliament, Hon. Abdalla Anyuru (RIP) to argue our case in Parliament.

As it turned out, they disregarded our strike and we settled into pursuing a career in nursing. Mind you, we were not supposed to stop attending to patients.

I do not regret my (male) nurse training. It set the basis of my professional growth with subsequent skills in medical and psychiatric social work in Mulago and Butabika Hospitals, as well as in public health, teaching medical students and research. Take heart Robert and any other male nurses out there for you are on the path to an exciting career. Good luck.

John Arube-Wani
Kampala

Uganda’s male nurses should take heart and not be discouraged

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