UCT welcomed the first student from Namibia in 2012. This same pioneer student, Beatrix Callard, then returned to UCT 2017- 2018 to complete the Master of Nursing in Child Nursing programme, becoming the first Namibian to qualify as a paediatric Advanced Practice Nurse.

Since 2015, The Children's Nursing Development Unit has partnered with the International University of Management (IUM), in Windhoek, to assist them in the development of their own paediatric nursing programme. Under the headship of Prof Van Dyk, IUM commenced with their first intake of paediatric nursing students in January 2019. 

In addition to Beatrix Callard, 11 other Namibian nurses between 2014-2019, have graduated from UCT with a postgraduate diploma in Child Nursing or Critical Care Child Nursing. 2 of these graduates are lecturers on the new paediatric nursing programme at IUM, the rest continue as paediatric nurses in the clinical setting (at Windhoek Central Hospital, Katatura State Hospital, Ongwediva Mediclinic & Oshakati Intermediate Hospital).

Over this period there have been various educator / stakeholder visits to and from Namibia, to engage with stakeholders, assist with curriculum development and more recently for Namibian educators to participate in the UCT Child Nurse Educator Forum.

Partnership Visit in June 2019: 
Enjoying Namibian hospitality during a children’s nursing teaching experience - Written by Elijeshca Crous and Adess Mwale

Two Master of Nursing in Child Nursing students, Elijeshca Crous and Adess Mwale, also an African Paediatric Fellow, embarked on a teaching internship between the Children's Nursing Development Unit at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, and the International University of Management (IUM), Windhoek, Namibia, between June 9 and 21, 2019.

The purpose of the partnership between the UCT and IUM is to build children’s nursing in Africa. The aim of this exchange visit by two senior students, enrolled in the professional master’s in advanced clinical children’s nursing, was an opportunity to contribute while facilitating teaching and learning, in Namibia’s first postgraduate children’s nursing programme. IUM developed and now offers the programme in Namibia, 2019 was their first student intake.

The Namibian welcome was as warm as the sun that greeted us upon arrival. IUM arranged for transport from the Hosea Kutako International airport 40km outside of Windhoek to our accommodation where lecturers, Ms. Eunike Mushelenga and Fredrika Hamutoko, personally welcomed us to Namibia on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The hospitality we experienced extended to Ms. Mushelenga taking us to Wernhill Mall on the first day to ensure we get connected to the local cell phone network and collect some necessary provisions for the two weeks.

We had the privilege of teaching three of the children’s nurses in training in Namibia, namely: Rachel Katshuna, Veronica Gideon and Lavinia Amkhosi. We were delighted with their pre-existing knowledge and enjoyed adding further knowledge while teaching them for the next two weeks. We also enjoyed adding to our knowledge base during our visit. We had the privilege of meeting a number of dedicated nurse leaders, including Professor van Dyk (Head of Faculty), Sister C. Kambonde and Sister M. Malima (Matrons at Katatura Hospital) and Sister Esther Ambunda, who unravelled the Namibian health care context and care procedures to us.

Beatrix Callard, a Master of Nursing in Child Nursing graduate who is now leading the neonatal care unit at Windhoek Central hospital in Namibia, provided us with valuable mentorship during our visit. She added a wealth of insight into our professional roles, particularly on practical leadership strategies, in the clinical context.

Apart from the teaching partnership, which we thoroughly enjoyed, we also had time for some sightseeing before departing back to Cape Town. It is our hope that UCT and IUM will continue partnering and building children’s nursing in Africa, together.