By Christopher Bendana
Uganda will next week (February 3-4) host the Nursing Now regional meeting. The high-level meeting will bring together nurses, midwives and health practitioners from the East Africa region and beyond to deliberate on the role nurses and midwives can play as part of the new multi-disciplinary health care system.
Experts say the modern health system considers nurses and midwives a strong pillar in the provision of high-quality health care that is patient-centered.
Prof Francis Omaswa, the Executive Director of the African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) and a Board Member of Nursing Now campaign highlighted the significance of nurses and midwives in the broader health chain.
“Nurses and midwives are a cornerstone of the health system. No health system in the world can stand without the contribution of nurses and midwives,” he said in a statement.
“The Year of the Nurse 2020 gives the world an opportunity to place nursing and midwifery at the center of the health systems and to make sure that the voices of nurses are heard and their contribution to the health system and leadership and governance is achieved.”
Sister Catherine Odeke, the National Coordinator for the Nursing Now campaign Uganda said the conference would be a learning experience.
“The meeting will influence policymakers to support nurses and midwives to learn and build a strong global movement that will assist their countries to achieve Universal Health Coverage,” she said.
2020 was designated by the World Health Organisation as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife in honor of the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale.
The nursing profession has recently gained traction in Uganda with nurses training at bachelors, masters and Ph.D. levels like their medical counterparts, but challenges remain. Generally, they complain of poor pay and lack of protective gear especially in times of pandemic.
The Nursing Now, a three-year campaign (2018-2020) seeks to improve health globally by raising the status of nursing in health care.