Bamalete Lutheran School of Nursing expands

27th October 2017
GROUND BROKEN: The place for the new school of nursing in Ramotswa Source:The Midweek Sun

Bamalete Lutheran School of Nursing (BLSON) in Ramotswa recently broke ground for an expansion project, the first visible step towards a long-awaited new set of infrastructure that will increase the capacity of the school.

The project includes a multi-dimensional campus for health human resource that will host highly specialised curricula, the second country to offer it in Africa after Ghana. Phase one of the project, with an anticipated capacity of 100 students in the specialised areas of midwifery, pediatric nursing and Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) nursing, is scheduled for the next 20 weeks at a cost of P2.7 million.

According to BLSON Principal, Martha Mothibe the expansion project is a long time coming. Located within the Bamalete Lutheran Hospital (BLH), Mothibe said the school started training nurses in 1975 with just eight pupils. “It started with two classrooms, a few bookshelves were mounted in a small passage for a Library, and a Nurses Hostel that accommodated 20 students,” she shared with attendants.

After closing a couple of times for varied reasons including failure to attract suitably qualified staff for the school and old unsuitable buildings, the school would finally reopen in August 1996 following its affiliation with the University of Botswana (UB). “The Hospital had to strengthen its fundraising activities in order to raise funds to extend and renovate the old buildings and build a new library,” she said. She added: “Following the building of the library, renovation of the student hostels, the administration block and the skills laboratory, the school could not expand any longer because of lack of space.”

Meanwhile, the quality assurance bodies were critical about the school’s lack of expansion space. It was against this background that land was requested from Malete Land Board to relocate the school. Mothibe said the project would contribute to the promotion of quality health care delivery in the country. She said the school is determined to train adequate nurses to help address the health needs of the people. Applauding BLH for its commitment towards providing quality health services and training for excellence in Botswana, Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness, Dikgang Makgalemele said facilities such as the one envisaged would also adequately support health related clinical research to inform practice.

He said there is critical need to have adequate capacity within the pediatric nursing and midwifery areas to cater for the worrying trends on neonatal and maternal mortalities. The project, according to Makgalemele, is also in line with the ministry’s Health Hub concept aimed at positioning Botswana as a hub for medical and health excellence. “It resonates well with the aspirations of the Health Hub given than ENT specialty is a key niche in the region,” he said. He however appealed to the contractors to avoid delays and ensure that they finish the job on time.

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