Deputy Minister of Health, Patrick Chikusu, says he is shocked to learn that male and female students share the same hostel at Serenje’s Chitambo School of Nursing.
Dr Chikusu said it is not right for both male and female students to share the same hostel, regardless of the accommodation challenges at the institute.
ZANIS reports from Serenje District that the minister said this when he toured the institute on Thursday.
He said it was morally and professionally wrong for male and female students to be sharing a hostel adding that this should not be tolerated.
He added that because the situation may encourage students to engage in illicit behaviour, which may in turn dent the good image of the institute.
He said while government understands that Chitambo Nursing School is faced with accommodation challenges, the situation cannot be allowed to continue.
“ Therefore, I advise management to find ways of putting up a temporal demarcation that will, at least, separate the male students from the female or just find an alternative space for the male students to ensure acceptable moral standards at the institute, “ he said.
He said the issue needs urgent attention because government does not want to see a situation where colleges are being turned into brothels and at no time should accommodation problems be excuses for laxity in training institutes.
He added that government, through the Ministry of Health, would consider constructing more hostels at the Nursing School to mitigate accommodation challenges.
Dr Chikusu said the PF government is working hard at ensuring that there are adequate training institutions for health workers in various parts of the country, in order to allow the local people to enroll.
Earlier, the Matron at Chitambo School of Nursing Hilda Mubanga said lack of accommodation is a major issue affecting the institution.
Ms. Mubanga, who is also a Nursing Officer in Charge at Chitambo Hospital, said as a result, the students are forced to share the only existing hostel, despite their gender.
She said this has also disadvantaged the community because the school can only accommodate 27 students who share one room per two students.
She said currently, there are 27 students pursuing their Nursing Careers at the Institute and of these, 17 are female while 10 are male.
Ms Mubanga, on behalf of the training institute, appealed to government to expand accommodation at the institute so that it can take in more students as more and more people would want to enroll at the Nursing School.