Uganda will start exporting some of its best trained nurses to work in United Kingdom, Chimp Corps report.
UK’s Trade Envoy to Uganda, Lord Popat revealed that they have a grand plan of taking Ugandan qualified nurses to work in the UK.
He added that Britain chose Uganda because they are English speakers and they have so much in common.
“Health has become a very important issue. We want to start taking Ugandan nurses to the UK for work. Ugandans are English speakers which is an advantage to them,” said Popat during a meeting with President Museveni on Friday at State Lodge Nakasero.
In the meeting that was also attended by the British High Commissioner to Uganda, Kate Airey, President Museveni and Lord Popat discussed issues of mutual interests between Uganda and the United Kingdom in various sectors including Health, Investment, Energy, Transport and Agriculture, etc.
Lord Popat is a Conservative Peer at the House of Lords and has been the UK Trade Envoy for Uganda and Rwanda since 2016.
An attitudinal survey of nurses carried out by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) showed that only 12 percent of nurses (those who spend 75 per cent of their day in contact with the patient), expressed satisfaction with nursing as a career.
32 percent of Ugandan nurses said they were likely to remain nurses in the next five years against a global average of 53 per cent due to heavy workload and poor pay.
In Uganda, the nurse to patient ratio is 6 per 100,000 yet WHO recommends a ratio of 2.5 to 1,000.
District hospitals have only 20 percent of the staff required.
It is estimated that about 30 nurses leave the profession annually.
This implies that the nurses left are overworked and consequently, there is not enough time allocated per patient.
Popat said negotiations are already underway with the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr. Diana Atwine.
“Dr. Diana is going to collect their CVs. We want to train and up-skill the Ugandan nurses in the UK,” he revealed.
Meanwhile, Popat said Uganda is a land-linked country and so good for investment.
On the side of agriculture, Lord Popat said “Uganda’s culture is agriculture. We want to support this particular area of agriculture because the demand for agricultural products is high in the UK.”
He wondered why Uganda is so rich underground, but so poor on the surface.
“Let us sort out this. I will bring you a delegation for mineral investors,” he added.
On her part, Kate Airey emphasised the need to have direct flights to the UK to promote tourism and links with the UK.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Mwebesa Francis and Amb. Beatrice Pachunega, among others.