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Support to Nursing School in South Sudan 

In South Sudan, the MSF Academy supports a Scholarship project in collaboration with the Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery (JCONAM). The scholarship approach implemented with the JCONAM offers a very good opportunity for MSF to support this school through the direct sponsorship of individuals and, as such, increase access to nursing and midwifery education for people from the more peripheral communities in South Sudan.

The MSF Academy granted scholarships to six nursing students and to five secondary school students in 2022 from remote locations where MSF has a hospital project. The idea is that their placements happen in MSF-supported hospitals, with at least one of them occurring in their place of origin.

This pilot phase is planned to expand as of beginning of 2024.

Completed Scholarship Programmes for nurses and midwives

Scholarship programme for Sierra Leonean nurses and midwives

In anticipation of the need for certified nurses and midwives to staff the newly established Kenema hospital (specialising in paediatric and maternity care) which opened in 2019, 50 Sierra Leonean health workers were selected for a two-year scholarship programme in Ghana. Twenty-two students graduated as certified nurses in December 2019 from Korle-Bu nursing school and integrated into the Kenema hospital team in early 2020. Twenty-five students graduated as certified midwives in December 2019 from Koforidu midwifery School and enlisted in a rotation programme in various health structures, before integrating the Kenema hospital for the opening of the maternity ward.

Nurses and midwives attend the graduation ceremony in Kenema. ©Vincenzo Livieri
Two graduates in Kenema during the graduation ceremony. ©Vincenzo Livieri

Anaesthetics Scholarship for Certified Nurses

Surgical activities are a significant part of MSF’s work in hospitals, but there are limited trained nurse anaesthetists to assist during surgeries in many countries where we work. To help fill the gaps at project level, the MSF Academy for Healthcare organised a one-off scholarship programme for qualified nurses to become specialised in anaesthesia through partnerships with quality schools in Africa.

The scholars coming from Sierra Leone and South Sudan participated in the programme in English in Ghana, and those coming from Chad and the Central African Republic participated in the programme in French in Ivory Coast.  A regular and close academic and individual follow up was provided by a MSF Academy-designated staff.

The retention of the scholarship participants, whether under MSF or MOH contract, was secured through formalised commitments to working with their employer for five years after completing the course. Thirty-five certified nurses graduated at diploma-level as anaesthesia-reanimation specialists and went back to their home countries to be inducted into their new role.