Acclaimed for singlehandedly transforming Sri Lanka into a regional educational hub for nurses, the International Institute of Health Science (IIHS), Sri Lanka’s premier healthcare education institute, conducted another milestone graduation for 426 nursing professionals recently. Among the nurses who graduated, over 300 are from the Government sector.
The Healthcare graduates had followed programmes in nursing, physiotherapy, bio-medical science, health administration etc.
In a landmark achievement, 26 Maldivian students, who attending the event virtually, graduated with Bachelors in Nursing Science from the Open University of Malaysia (OUM) together with Sri Lankan nurses who had completed their Diploma in General Nursing for the first time. Other graduates included students who had obtained an MBA in Healthcare Administration (AeU), Master of Nursing (OUM), Executive Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (AeU), Bachelor (Hons) of Education (OUM), Bachelor (Hons) of Nursing Sciences (OUM), Advanced Diploma in General Nursing, Advanced Diploma in Physiotherapy, Advanced Diploma in Biomedical Sciences, Diploma in General Nursing, Foundation in Biological Sciences and Foundation in Arts and English.
Commenting on the graduation, Dr. Kithsiri Edirisinghe (MBBS, MSc, MD (Medical Administration), Founder, CEO, Director Academics, strategy and International Affairs, IIHS, said, “We are extremely proud that as a groundbreaking institute, we are able to contribute much needed qualified nursing cadre to strengthen the heath care sector. With our core mindset of ‘adding goodness to the community’ we ensure that education offered is at an affordable cost together with high quality programmes, improving accessibility especially for youth in the rural areas.”
While keeping with all the necessary health guidelines, the Graduation took place at the BMICH and was attended by a host of dignitaries, industry professionals and family members and friends of the graduates.
The Graduation was held during two sessions. The morning session was graced by Hon. State Minister Dr. Seetha Arambepola, State Minister of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation as the Chief Guest.
During the proceedings, IIHS launched its groundbreaking ‘Hela Hediyan’ (Lankan Nurses) programme which aims at empowering Sri Lankan youth mainly those living in rural areas. Soft loans are to be provided for rural youth to obtain these international nursing education and qualifications with assurance of local and international job opportunities.
Addressing the audiences, Dr. Seetha Arambepola said, “I congratulate IIHS for the upcoming project “Hela Hediyan” in order to provide well-trained and knowledgeable professionals to the country and the world. Based on His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s vision ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’, the importance of vocational training education is understood. Action is being taken to reach rural youth and those in other parts of Sri Lanka and provide local and international job opportunities. Vocational training provides education and training to help up skill the students and overcome challenges. This project’s ability to link vocational training education with the Government and Private sector is commended.”
In the afternoon session, Hon. (Dr.) Nalaka Godahewa, State Minister of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Community Cleanliness was the distinguished Chief Guest.
Dr. Godahewa said, “The Ministry of Urban Development is pleased to support IIHS on this journey of developing Sri Lanka as South Asian education center. We are happy to note that as a recognized degree awarding institute, IIHS in the Gampaha District have so far assisted over 2,000 Healthcare Professionals in obtaining degrees. Many of them are already working abroad. Today our nurses are employed in England and Germany earn Rs. 7-8 lakhs a month. We are working to further expand these opportunities to our youth. I also congratulate IIHS’s expansion and launch of its ‘IIHS multiversity’ concept which is commendable even during challenging times for our nation.”
The Institute’s new ‘Multiversity concept’ with an objective of attracting foreign students to Sri Lanka was unveiled during the graduation. Through this project, IIHS intends to support Sri Lanka’s growth as a South Asian educational hub was nursing qualifications.
Additionally, at the event, IIHS’s unique brand ‘800+’ was launched. This programme signifies IIHS pioneering initiative and immense contribution in producing over 800 working nursing professionals and 2000+ health care professional for the healthcare industry.
Venerable Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Abhayarama Temple and President of the Public Service United Nurses Union was the Guest of Honour during the second session.
Supporting this noble calling and raising the standards of the nursing profession further, IIHS also launched its novel ‘Heda Nena Waduma’ project. The objective of this programme is to further develop the skillset of Sri Lankan public sector nursing professionals through an internationally recognized Bachelor’s programme thereby enhance nursing care provided to citizens.
Addressing the gathering, the Ven. Thero said, “The history of ‘Heda Nena Weduma’ can be traced back to 2010 when IIHS began its journey of supporting local nurses. The institution has proved its commitment by not only producing one batch, but several batches with Masters and also PhDs related to healthcare. They also offer students programmes that are affordable, linked with work, research and technology.”
Ven. Thero added, “This is a good example of how the Government, the Private sector and the trade unions should work together to develop working healthcare professionals. Government nurses are provided with free courses to upgrade their qualifications through skills by IIHS and therefore this reflects that IIHS is not profit-based but dedicated to ensure the welfare of Sri Lankans.”
All these pioneering initiatives are IIHS’s long-term contribution to the Government’s Policy framework ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’ which aims to support economic growth by adding more female participation and providing additional employment opportunities for women as paid caregivers.