This year is the ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’. But how can we move towards universal health coverage and tackle shortages of nursing staff across the globe? Kate Woodhead RGN DMS discusses the state of world nursing and the deep-seated problems affecting nursing globally.
Nursing Now has been a three-year global movement to support the development of Universal Health Coverage and to strengthen nursing internationally to improve health, improve gender equality by empowering women, and build stronger economies. Launched in late February 2018, Nursing Now set a radical agenda and a work programme in specific areas. These committees will report during 2020. In addition, this year, a major report, State of the World’s Nursing 2020, will be launched in April, to provide a global picture of the nursing workforce and articulate the role of nurses in achieving universal health coverage. It is critical to many countries in the world that high income countries support the recommendations in the report and assist middle- and low-income countries by helping to develop their nursing strengths to the benefit of all.
Friends of African Nursing is a small UK based charity which delivers education and training to nurses in a variety of African countries, on a voluntary basis. We have often focussed on perioperative training, as this is our knowledge and expertise, but we have also led train the trainers, leadership programmes and other bespoke courses, requested by the Ministry, including developing standards for care.
During the nineteen years since we began, we have educated more than 2,000 nurses in eleven countries and undertaken much collateral advisory work. This has encompassed developing plans for new operating theatre facilities, reviewing decontamination workflows, helping to devise workforce plans and strategic directions for perioperative care, usually with the Ministry or senior nursing association personnel. We have spoken at conferences of health ministers and advised senior clinicians in teaching hospitals on nursing issues.
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