UBC nursing students develop handbook for African hospitals


A pair of UBC Okanagan School of Nursing students are taking what they have learned to help educate nurses in Africa. Inspired by the saying “give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for life,” Darien Miyata and Caitlan Stephens have set out to empower others through education -- with hopes to improve the lives of people around the globe.

The project began last year, when a group of fourth-year students created a nursing assessment handbook and during their final practicums in Ghana and Zambia gave copies to African nurses. Often, these nurses had only their own hand-written class notes to use as references and Stephens says the handbook created by the UBC students was eagerly received and became a precious resource to the African nurses. When it came time for Stephens and Miyata to choose a fourth-year project, revising the handbook filled an obvious need, says Stephens.

“We heard how excited the nurses were to get these handbooks, and the difference it made, so we decided to continue that legacy.”

However, this year the project is going to look a bit different.  When a contingent of nursing students, including Miyata and Stephens, head to Africa this spring, they will take more than 100 updated handbooks, plus a collection of interactive learning activities and visual aids to help consolidate the material. The hope is to have a fun-filled day of knowledge sharing between students and the nurses of Ghana and Zambia.

The Nursing Assessment Skills and Intervention handbook, printed for free by Kelowna Instaprint, has the potential to change the lives of thousands, says Miyata.

“It’s said that knowledge is power, so let’s spread it far and wide,” she says.

Both students look forward to seeing their project come to life when they arrive in Zambia. Until then, they and other fourth-year nursing students will continue to raise funds to support the project and other Africa-based health initiatives.
Want to get involved? Visit: www.gogetfunding.com/project/ubc-okanagan-clinic-in-ghana

“Musiyale hande,” (stay well),  says Stephens, in the Silozi language of the Lozi people of the Western Province of Zambia.

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