The Ministry of Health has commended the General Nursing Council for nullifying the 2017 examinations for registered nurses and pre-service registered nurse midwives due to malpractices.

Ministry of Health Head of Communications and External Relations Stanslous Ngosa disclosed in a statement today that the nullification had affected 1,797 students in the examinations that started on November 13, 2017 and were scheduled to end on November 20, 2017.

Ngosa further advised that the nullified examinations would be replaced by a completly new set of examinations scheduled to start on December 11 and end on December 18, 2017.

“The Ministry of Health fully supports the action taken by the GNC to exercise the Nurses and Midwifery Act 31of 1997 to nullify the examinations. The November / December 2017 Paper 1, II, II, IV, V and VI qualifying GNC Theory examinations for Registered Nurses (RN), and Pre-Service Registered Nurse Midwives (RNM) have been nullified following the unearthing of examination malpractice and leakage. About 1,797 students are affected by the nullification of the examinations that started on 13th November 2017 and were scheduled to end on 20th November 2017,” Ngosa stated.

“The nullified examinations will be replaced by a complete new set of examinations scheduled to start on 11th December 2017 and end on 18th December 2017. However, investigations into the matter have been instituted, and perpetrators when found will be visited by the law. It must be emphasized that Government will not tolerate any degree of examination leakage in the health sector, as this hinges on matters of life and death.”

Ngosa stated that the nullification was in order to preserve patient safety and quality health service delivery and also maintain integrity.

“Government shall ensure that the General Nursing Council takes all necessary steps to minimise the risk of a similar occurrence in future. The profession of nursing has held a long and cherished position in Zambia, and Zambian nurses are valued all over the world, for their integrity, and professionalism. The General Nursing Council, is mandated by law to promote patient safety, protect the public from unsafe nursing practices, and to uphold the quality, integrity and professionalism among all members. This includes those that aspire to be members of the nursing profession,” stated Ngosa.

“It is therefore right that the examinations have been nullified, in order to preserve patient safety, aspire for quality health service delivery, and maintain integrity. On the other hand, Government has already taken every precaution to ensure that all eligible nursing and midwifery examination candidates are not unnecessarily inconvenienced.”