Iranya John Bosco was born in Moyo District in northern Uganda, which borders South Sudan. In 1979, his family were taken in exile as refugees in South Sudan. They returned to Uganda in 1998, where he resumed his primary education.
Following high school, Bosco enrolled in Kabale School of Nursing's enrolled nurse programme and later joined Public Health Nurses College for a Diploma in General Nursing.
In 2014, he attended AKU's convocation ceremony in Kampala, when his uncle received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. This was one of his closest relatives, who, together with his father, an orthopaedic officer, inspired him to become a nurse.
In a somewhat prophetic statement, his uncle told him “Bosco, you'll be the next person to bring us to Serena Hotel, Kampala for your graduation." This message encouraged him to apply to AKU in 2020.
Working as a nurse at Eremi Health Centre III in Moyo District, he was able to take online lessons without difficulty thanks to the COVID pandemic. However, when the restrictions were lifted. and in-person learning resumed, he encountered a significant challenge.
“The health centre I work in is 614 kilometres from Kampala and is in one of the mountainous, hard-to-reach areas, so travel to the capital city is tough," said Bosco. “A bus ticket costs around UGX 60,000 ($15) which is rather expensive. I contacted the bus company and informed them that I am a student who must travel to Kampala once per week. They understood my situation and offered me a UGX 15,000 ($4) discount. I am truly grateful for their support."
The long distance to AKU's campus was not the only hurdle Bosco had to overcome. He needed to raise funds to complete his education by selling produce from his farm and supplementing it with his salary. Bosco, on the other hand, is grateful for the financial assistance provided by the University which helped lighten his load.
With these two obstacles out of the way, Bosco was able to focus on his studies and was impressed by the impact his education at AKU had on his profession.
“My clinical practice and patient protocols have improved. Previously, I seldom gave patients an opportunity to explain themselves. At AKU, I learned that patient involvement in care is critical. I spent time getting to know my patients so that I could serve them better."
Bosco also shared his knowledge with coworkers and team members at his workplace through Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses. He also claims to have improved his ability to administer drugs and perform sterile procedures.
Bosco believes he now has the tools to become an excellent nurse who can collaborate across disciplines. He wants to specialise in child health or mental health as postgraduate training to 'strengthen the quality of care to patients entrusted to him'.