For fifteen years, the School of Nursing and Midwifery East Africa (SONAM – EA) has focused on developing the capacities of nurses and midwives to meet diverse health challenges across this region.
Nurses and midwives make up the largest proportion of health workers globally, and in East Africa represent over 85% of the health workforce. In many places, they are the only point of care, meaning their ability to respond appropriately is the difference between life and death for thousands of individuals. Instilling critical thinking, confidence and leadership has been at the heart of SONAM’s academic approach.
We have learnt that these tenets are the key differentiator of our graduates and we shall continue to use them as the foundation of our training.
In an increasingly complex world, with persistently high levels of maternal and infant mortality, unacceptably high levels of child and adult malnutrition and troubling trends in non-communicable diseases, the need for nurses and midwives to be agile, adaptable and proactive is even more urgent. These realities will guide our work in the near future, and we will prepare graduates to meet and skillfully overcome these challenges. We see our role as a vanguard for changing health in East Africa through the students who pass through SONAM, and in time influence policy and practice in their countries, communities and clinics.
This strategic plan provides a framework to guide our investments, our focus and our priorities over the next five years. We commit to upskilling our faculty, upgrading our campuses and unlocking new partnerships through this plan. Ultimately, our goal is to develop graduates who emerge as teachers and leaders possessing humility, compassion and an unshakeable commitment to the provision of respectful care.
For the SONAM team, it is an exciting period of progressive change, and we look forward to working with partners, stakeholders, donors and students to bring these goals to fruition.
Professor Sharon Brownie,
Dean, Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa