Before the year 2000, nursing & midwifery students, and strikes weren’t words to be found in the same sentence. This, however, changed post 2000 with the first reported strike in 2002. It would be almost another decade (10yrs)before a strike action by student nurses and midwives would be reported on. Many of the student strike actions start in 2012.
From 2012 to 2018, there was an average of one strike action by student nurses and midwives in Uganda. The year 2015 was the only exception. It had two reported student strike actions.
Here are some of the nursing and midwifery schools and the reasons that underpinned the strike actions they came to be known for.
Soroti School of Comprehensive Nursing
Students at the school are reported to have gone on strike for 10days, the longest student strike action thus far!
The students were demanding a change to the school’s administration, and tutors. Specifically, they wanted Emma Juma (then school Principal), Jane Okodi (Deputy principal), and Simon Odepe (accountant) transfered.
The students complained of lacking tutors and drunkeness of those available. High school fees, poor feeding as well as sanitation were equally a discomfort to the students.
The school was thus temporarily closed on the 25th October 2002 (after 10days) by then BTVET assistant commissioner Henry Francis Okinyal to allow for the causative issues to be addressed. The school is open at present.
Kabale School of Comprehensive Enrolled Nursing
The school saw a student strike action on 30th July 2012 with the student’s major complaint being poor quality meals. The beans, in their view, were heavily infested with weevils.
The student’s rage didn’t spare then Guild president Mr Fred Byamukama either with students accusing him of siding with the administration over them.
The strike action started with a rejection of the lunch and supper followed by a pitch camp in the school’s compound. And as is the case led to some members of staff flee for fear of being attacked by the students.