Samoa took a step forward to improve the delivery of nursing services on Tuesday, thanks to a partnership between the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
The “Growing Our Own programme” was launched by Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, who hailed the development as a milestone and acknowledged New Zealand’s key role.
“I am pleased that the New Zealand government recognized the importance of this program for the National University of Samoa to build the capacity within the School of Nursing and support the broader nursing and midwifery sector,” he said.
“On 7 November this year, it will be 100 years since Samoa was devastated by the 1918 influenza pandemic which wiped our 22% of our population. We should reflect and learn from such a devastating episodes in our history and look towards a better way forward with remembrance.”
“It is also the 100-year anniversary of the nursing profession in Samoa and from this initiative, N.U.S. will provide a sustainable supply of Samoan education nurses and midwives and research to deliver the primary healthcare needs of the Samoan people. Through the strength of our women and village institutions and our nurses, we will grow our primary healthcare and ensure a strong, sustainable future for Samoa.”
Tuilaepa also acknowledged the foresight by Victoria University.
“We welcome your teachers to share their knowledge with our teachers and in turn we will grow our researchers who will share their research with yours. I thank the Government of New Zealand for their willingness to finance this initiative and others which will go a long way in addressing our focus on primary health care.”
“Today we still struggle with a response to non-communicable diseases and the emergence of communicable diseases. This programme will grow and see our PhD and Masters students researching and teaching these issues most fundamental to Samoa’s prosperity, health and well-being.”
“Through a refocus on primary healthcare and through the empowerment of our institution, our women’s health communities and our nurses and midwives together, will ensure that our people, villages and Samoa will thrive.”
Approximately NZ$1.7 million has been provided by New Zealand for the project.
The primary focus of the programme is to develop the capability of the Faculty of Science staff of the N.U.S, to offer postgraduate pathways for nurses, midwives and potentially other health professional with the intent of contributing to health system of Samoa through research and health practice development.
This was according to the Dean of the Faculty of Health Victoria University of Wellington, Professor Gregor Coster. The programme is offered over six years to initially support PhD, Master’s and other postgraduate qualifications for registered nurses and midwives.
“This partnership between Victoria and the National University of Samoa to develop the Samoan nursing and midwifery education and leadership workforce through the Growing Our Own programme is a strong example of Victoria’s commitment to making significant contributions to the resolutions of global challenges in Asia-Pacific region,” he said.
With this newly launched programme Mr. Coster is certain that there will be improvements with the nurses and midwives in Samoa.
“The programme outcomes will directly build capacity and capability within the nursing and midwifery workforce to support integration of local community-based applied research and evaluation with the development and delivery of health services.”
“This is a critical step towards making significant a long-term improvement in meeting Samoa’s growing health needs and challenges signaled by the Prime Minister and as detailed in the current Health Sector Plan and the Strategy for the Development of Samoa.”