The 12th ECSACON Scientific Conference is being held in Kenya at Safari Park Hotel Nairobi , Kenya from 7-9 September 2016. The conference brings together more than 600 participants from 16 countries in ECSA region and beyond. The participants include Researchers, clinicians, academicians, nurse leaders, partners and nurses and midwives from the ECSA region and beyond.
The main theme of the conference is “Nurses and Midwives for Universal Health Coverage” and the sub-themes for that conference is;
- Improving access to quality Maternal, New-born and Child Health services
- Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Gender Based Violence
- Innovations in Health Workforce Development for the 21st Century
- Innovations and excellence in providing Evidence Based Nursing and Midwifery care across life span
- Prevention and control of Communicable and Non-Communicable diseases including Mental Health and Nutrition
Noting the important role played by nurses and midwives in realizing the ended Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and mindful of the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and considering the important role played by nurses and midwives , the 12th ECSACON Scientific Conference was conceptualized with the major aim of bringing nurses and midwives in ECSA region to share best practices and strategize way forward toward realizing increased access to health services in the spirit of Universal Health Coverage.
The conference was cordially opened by the Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health Kenya Dr.JacksonKioko who graced the occasion on behalf the Minister of Health Kenya Dr.CleopaMairu.
A number of key note speeches addressing main theme and subthemes were delivered by dedicated speakers and more than 200 scientifically sound papers were shared through plenary and parallel sessions including a dedicated poster session.
The conference was featured by significant number of speakers renowned globally and regionally including Dr. Leslie Mancuso the President and CEO of Jhpiego who was the main keynote speaker for the conference. In her speech she reiterated the need of nurses to be on the table where key issues are discussed considering their unique role in health care system at large. She also urged the nurses and midwives in the ECSA region to strive be part of decision making and offer solution. She also reminded nurses to be mindful of data and evidence while making a case in looking solutions for HRH crisis in the region. She cited one example of task sharing where by the role of nurses and midwives is very critical in supporting the agenda of increasing access to health care using Community Health Workers in areas where it has proven to work and avert mortalities and morbidities.
The same message was overemphasized by the Vice president of ICM Prof. Address Malata who urged nurses and midwives to secure a seat in the forum where strategicdecisions are made and in doing that they need to be mindful of the fact that they are privileged to have an opportunity to speak on behalf of more than 7 billion people around the globe and majority of them do not have an opportunity to speak on their own.
The director General of ECSA health Community Prof. Yoswa Dambisya underscored the importance of nurses to be strategic in their engagement, and also calling for continuing partner support. He also congratulated the college of nursing ECSACON and informed the forum that since 1990 when ECSACON was born, there are other professional colleges which have followed suit and established their professional colleges including College of Surgeons (COSECSA), the college of Anaesthesiologists (CANECSA), College of Pathologists (COPECSA) , College of Ophthalmologists (COECSA) and recently launched the college of Physicians (ECSACOP). He informed the meeting that for better coordination the ECSA College of Health Sciences is in place to coordinate the effort while noting the presence of the Senate Chairperson of the CHS and Vice president of COSECSA Prof. Pankaj Jani who also had an opportunity to attend the conference.
Another key note speaker was Dr. Judith Shamian who urged nurses to to get out of their nursing bubbles and speak for the health system at large considering their number and strategic position they have in health system they have an important role to play in shaping the responsive health system.
The forum had an opportunity to hear from the distinguished speakers including Dr. SusanMichaels-Strasser from ICAP who underscored the need for nurses and midwives to expand their reach apart from nursing to the whole health system at large also the forum had an opportunity to hear from Dr. Janette Yu-Shears from US Government Human Resource Services Agency (HRSA) who had an opportunity to underscore the PEPFAR priorities globally and the important role played by nurses and midwives in realizing the PEPFA goal and also highlighted the important areas which nurses and midwives can focus on in realizing the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goal.
Reported by Alphonce Kalula, Senior Program Officer- ECSACON
ECSACON Attends International Council of Nurses (ICN) Global Nursing Leadership Course in Geneva, Switzerland
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) established the Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI) in 2009 to provide a leadership programme for nurses in senior and executive level positions. The GNLI employs an action-learning approach within a collaborative and stimulating learning culture. Participants review and enhance their leadership skills and behaviors related to national and global health priorities.
The 2016 ICN GNLI took place in Geneva, Switzerland from 17-23 September 2016 and gathered 26 senior nurses from 22 different countries. The 8thcohort of this programme, dedicated to “Nursing opportunities in a world focused on sustainable development”, was tailored to take forward nursing leadership priorities and develop creative, innovative strategies to keep the world focused on sustainable development.
Among the delegates who attended the course was a Senior Program Officer for the ECSA College of Nursing (ECSACON) Mr. Alphonce Kalula. He rates this course as one of the best as it empowers leaders to be able to exercise their leadership skills to the full potential. The course is well programmed as it begins with identify the individual capacity development needs, packaged in a way to ensure address the gaps identified before the commencement of the course.
The course covers a number of practical sessions on key global health issues including Vision and being strategic, teal building, policy and politics, international health policy and influencing the agenda, self-awareness and leadership.
With the leadership of Professor of psychology Dr. GinkaToegel from the Institute for Management Development, the course participants had an opportunity to evaluate their personalities and how positively or negatively it influence leadership style. Of most important the team building was a buzzword and was vividly demonstrated throughout the program.
A number of invited guests from international organizations had an opportunity to interact with the trainees including Global Alliance for Vaccination Initiative (GAVI), World Health Organization (WHO), International Red Cross and Red Crescent, Intrahealth International.
Following the intensive 8-day programme, which was marked by the release of the recommendations of the UN Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, the ICN/GNLI 2016 participants called on nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) to invest in nurse leadership for the successful attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Responding to the UN report findings that investing in the healthcare workforce will create jobs and drive economic development – two essential aspects of promoting the health of nations – ICN/GNLI 2016 identified nursing leadership as critical for developing and implementing national workforce plans and helping nations to address the SDGs, including reducing gender inequality.
Reported by Alphonce Kalula, Senior Program Officer- ECSACON
ECSACON support Uganda to develop the Training Guidelines for Family Planning in Pre-service Nursing and Midwifery education.
Family planning plays a central role in improving maternal health, preventing 137 million unintended pregnancies each year results in 40 million safe and unsafe annual abortions and 25 million spontaneous miscarriages. If women are at every opportunity informed and counseled to use family planning evidence from many countries has shown that this can result in a 40% reduction in pregnancy related maternal deaths and about 78 million of the 147 million child deaths that occur every year.
Mindful of the alarming unmet needs for Family Planning in the region, ECSACON being the professional body for nurses and midwives in the ECSA region has worked with Evidence to Action project to strengthen family planning component in pre-service nursing and midwifery education. The college has embarked in supporting development of such tools for strengthening competence based family planning in view of sharpening the skills and attitude of graduates who play a key role in increasing access to quality family planning services.
Building on the previous technical assistance provided by ECSA Health Community through its professional body for nurses ECSACON together with USAID funded flagship project E2A made more strides in supporting Uganda to contextualize the Family Planning TrainingResource package and other documents aiming at strengthening the capacity of nurse teachers in imparting the knowledge on Family Planning to students. The package was introduced in December 2015 to the representatives from the Ministry of Health, Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and Sports, Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examination Board, ECSACON Uganda Chapter selected universities and schools of nursing including private and public schools of nursing and midwifery.
The workshop was held at Hotel Africana from 27th June to 8th July 2016 involving the same key stakeholders. The workshop was cordially opened by Prof. Anthony Mbonye who is the acting Director General ministry of health Uganda.
The workshop was the follow on activity to customize the global and regional Family Planning packages to be used in Uganda. In the course of two weeks the team managed to develop the Family Planning trainers guide including lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, checklists, case studies and respective handouts for different family planning methods.
The team is expected to finalize the drafts, validate them and disseminate to all schools of nursing and midwifery in Uganda.
The International Development Committee of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI) has a long history of philanthropy, supporting trainees and surgeons wishing to work in Africa, and of funding bursaries which allow the winners to visit England, observe in Hospitals and attend the annual ASGBI conference.
ASGBI have also run the Basic Surgical Skills course, a two day basic course for surgeons which is now mandatory in all College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) and West Africa College of Surgeons (WACS)regions. During the two or three days anastomosis course for nurses it covers theatre skills,Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Infection control, and suturing.
We have managed to run six of the Emergency Surgery Courses which cover, anaesthesia, critical care, general surgery, orthopaedics , urology and obstetrics and gynaecology . This course takes five days and we also run a five day course for the nurses, two covering the BSS core skills and the other three are filled with lectures from the surgeons and intensivists who are on the team. We have done three in Nairobi and three in Lusaka, University Teaching Hospital ( UTH).
Our current project is an Anastomosis Workshop. So far we have also trained twelve nurses as well apart from the other medical doctors. During the trainings they learn to suture, handle artery forceps scissors, retractors and how to be first assistant to the surgeon. We have also covered theatre skills and infection control and use of the WHO Checklist. They work with the surgeons for the majority of the time, learning valuable skills. This also improves the working relationship between the surgeons and the nurses which is invaluable. In collaboration with ECSACON we have reached selected theatre nurses from Zimbabwe,Malawi, Ethiopia and Uganda.
All nurses receive a certificate at the end of the three days. This course is accredited by ECSACON and we are very grateful for this.
Prepared by Judy Mewburn and Alphonce Kalula
The Nursing and Midwifery leadersfrom 17 countries in the ECSA region including Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe convened in Johannesburg for annual summative meeting for Africa Health Profession Regulatory Collaborative project(ARC). In addition to 17 countries from ECSA region which implement (ARC) project, other three countries which are implementing similar project from francophone countries were invited to attend which are Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ivory Cost and Cameroon. The meeting took place from 16-19 February, 2016 at Crown Plaza Hotel, Johannesburg South Africa and it involved a team of four nurse leaders from each country including Director of nursing and midwifery services/Chief Nursing Officer, Registrar for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, President of the National nurses association as well as the representative from academic institution offering nursing and midwifery training.
The ARC phase one of the project has been implemented by consortium of partners including East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA HC) through its professional College of Nursing (ECSACON), Commonwealth Secretariat, Emory University, US Centers for Diseases Control, Emory University as well as Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation (CNMF).
The summative congress marked the end of the first phase of the ARC project while introducing the second phase of the project and it was featured by a number of events where by the country teams had an opportunity toshow case the development milestones attained through the support of the project. Some successes shared by countries during the event includes improvement of the nursing scope of practice, improvement of nursing regulations including task sharing, establishing Continuing Professional Development, strengthened nursing and midwifery acts as well as established formal way of working as team among four nurse leaders in addressing common challenges through QUAD approach. In a special way, the team congratulated Mozambique QUAD team for their tireless efforts towards forming the nursing and midwifery council during the life span of the ARC project.
In attendance was the Director General of ECSA Health Community Prof. Yoswa Dambisya, the representative of WHO Geneva Ms. Mwansa NKOWANE, the representative from International Council of Nurses (ICN) Ms. Jean Barry, Representative of USAID Southern Africa John Fieno and other delegates from CDC Headquarter Atlanta.
During the opening session the Director General of ECSA HC registered his appreciation for the support and continuous collaboration among partners in strengthening nursing and midwifery profession and health system at large. He also reaffirmed the commitment of ECSA Health Community to continue supporting the ARC project as it embarks on its second phase of its implementation. He also urged nurses to take the driver’s seat in ensuring the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) building from the experience they have acquired in facilitating attainment of the Millennium Development Goal.
In that meeting, phase two of the ARC project was launched which will emphasize on building collaboration among different health professionals in attainment of the UNAIDS Global 2020 target where by year 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained ART; and 90% of all people receiving ART will have viral suppression.
The meeting witnessed the expansion of ARC project not only to the West Africa but also involvement of laboratory experts in the project. Inclusion of laboratory experts led to the launch of the another initiative within ARC project with the name Africa Health Professions Regional Collaborative for Laboratory Technologists and Technicians (LARC). The main goal of LARC is to achieve and maintain HIV Viral Load suppression by increasing the uptake of Viral Load testing and improving institutional capacity, leadership and normative guidance.
The Nurses and Midwives of 15 countries in the ECSA region received a vehicledonated by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on 11th February 2016. The Ford Ranger double cabin was initially used by the Human Resource Alliance for Africa (HRAA) project which came to an end on 30th September 2015. The project wasimplemented by ECSA Health Community as the prime partner working with other partners including Regional Center for Quality in Health Care (RCQHC), Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI), Jhpiego, and the Regional Network on Equity in Health in East and Southern Africa (EQUINET). At the close of HRAA, USAID, in recognition of the collaboration demonstrated during the life time of the project and long time working relationship between USAID and nurses and midwives in ECSA region through its professional body ECSACON,accepted the recommendation from ECSA Health Community to donate the vehicle to the College.
The handing over event took place on 11th February 2016 at the ECSA Health Community premises in Arusha, Tanzania, where the ECSACON Secretariat is housed. The Director General of ECSA Health Community, Prof. Yoswa Dambisya handed over the vehicle, on behalf of USAID, to the president of ECSACON, Mrs. Susan Otieno. During the handing over event, the Director General encouraged the nursing fraternity, through ECSACON, to make maximum use of the vehicle by revitalizing projectsaimedat reaching the hard to reach population with nursing and midwifery services.
While accepting the keys to the vehicle, the President of ECSACON reiterated the long-time commitment exercised by nurses and midwives in the region in advocating for availability of essential health services to the needy population in the marginalized and hard to reach areas.She also registered her appreciation to the American people through USAID and other US government agencies including Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) for dedicating support towards strengthening nursing and midwifery profession in Africa and ECSA region in particular. Mrs Otieno was accompanied by ECSACON members from Kenya Chapter, led by the Director of Nursing Services, Mrs. Rosemary Kurya,
This project is funded by USAID Washington and it is the collaborative project between Pathfinder International through Evidence to Action Project (E2A), WHO through IBP and ECSA Health Community through its professional college ECSACON implemented this project in the region.
The Family Planning Training Resource Package (FP-TRP) was developed by WHO, USAID and UNFPA. ECSA Health Community in collaboration with Evidence to Action Project went ahead to support countries in ECSA region to institutionalize the tool.
The needs to support the countries emanated from the preconference activity held alongside 11th ECSACON Scientific Conference which was held in Harare Zimbabwe in September 2014 where by nurses from the region echoed the need to be supported to institutionalize the tool within their own country contexts.
The project started by conducting a survey to assess the nursing and midwifery curriculum in ECSA region from February to April 2015. Ten countries in ECSA region completed the survey which informed the dissemination workshops for the package targeting nurse tutors from Schools of Nursing in Tanzania and Uganda.
Dissemination of the Family Planning Training Resource Package for Tanzania
The activity took place at Blue Pearl Hotel, Dar es Salaam Tanzania from 6-10 July 2015. The training was attended by a total of 33 participants drawn from schools of nursing and universities offering nursing and midwifery programs as well as representatives from ECSACON country chapter and nursing and midwifery associations.
The training was preceded with the planning meeting which involved the representative from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Midwifery association, ECSA HC, Muhimbili University, Nursing Council and ECSACON Country chapter.
The training was cordially opened by the Dr. Mohamed Ally on behalf of the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Dr. DonanMmbando.
The objectives of the training were to;
- Orient the tutors on competency based training and education and their application in relation to Family Planning Component.
- Describe the updated family planning related training program objectives, Course Unit objectives, competencies and content outline of pre-service education curricula for nurses and midwives.
- Describe FP/RH best practices, evidence based resources and tools and their application in nurses and midwives education.
- Use the Training Resource Package and other FP/RH tools to strengthen FP/RH pre-service education for nurses and midwives.
All schools represented received a set of training materials including Medical Eligibility Criteria for Family Planning, handouts and flash disks containing the full package.
During the workshop the trainees had the opportunity to interrogate the draft curriculum for nurses and a midwife which were still under development and managed to fill in the gaps identified during the training and managed to update their curriculum accordingly.
Dissemination of the Family Planning Training Resource Package for Uganda
The training in Uganda was preceded with the planning meeting which took place from 9-11 December 2015. Members for the planning meeting came from the ministry of health; ministry of education, Uganda nurses and midwives council, Makerere University, Uganda Christian university, ECSACON, Evidence to Action project, IBP and ECSA Health Community.
During the planning meeting the team had an opportunity to get the overview of Family planning tools from global, ECSA region and country specific tools and curriculum. A number of gaps were identified in the nursing and midwifery curriculum which informed the nature of the workshop to address the gaps.
The workshop was cordially opened by the Director of Human Resources Development of the ministry of health on behalf of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health in Uganda Dr AsumanLukwago.
The objectives for the workshop were to;
- Assess the knowledge on family planning and competency based training based on a pre-post knowledge assessment
- Apply the principles of competency based training and student focused learning to update the family planning component of the course unit objectives, competencies, knowledge, skills and attitudes and content outline of nurses and midwives based on the National FP/RH Guidelines and the scopes of practice.
- Familiarize with FP/RH best practices and evidence based resources and tools including the Training Resource Package and the Medical Eligibility Criteria.
- Practice how to navigate the online and flash drive versions of FP-TRP using the Module on Standard Days Method.
- Use the TRP, National FP/RH Guidelines and other FP/RH Tools to develop competency based learning plans based on the updated FP sections of the Course Unit.
- Use competency based methods deliver sessions on selected components of their updated Course Unit Objectives and sessions plans.
The workshop was conducted from 14-18 December 2015 at Ridars Hotel, Kampala Uganda. The workshop was attended by 40 participants drawn from schools of nursing and universities in Uganda. The trainees had an opportunity to review their curriculum and identify the gaps as far as family planning is concerned. The workshop was very interactive and each trainee has an opportunity to prepare a lesson plan and facilitate the mini session while practicing the acquired skills on Competency Based Training on Family Planning.
Trainees performing practical session on how to administer the family planning methods
The Participants’ Voices
“I am very enthusiastic about the TRP that has been provided because it brings all the materials in one package. Previously different schools have had diverse approaches to teaching family planning and personally I was depending on the available text books on family planning. It is also very good because we now have standardized information that will be disseminated to the students regardless of the school that they come from. This package will definitely ease my work.” — Grace Nakku, Midwifery tutor, Nsambya School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kampala
“This training was what we needed all along; I hope proper follow up is made to ensure that the outcomes of the training are achieved.” — Juliet Zawedde, Nursing tutor, Kibuli
Following two FP trainings for Tanzania and Uganda, a pool of trainers have been developed and linked via the online community of practice. The online community of practice was developed and is being supported by the Implementing Best Practices (IBP)
The college will be engaged in collecting success stories on how the package has helped trainers to improve family planning teaching in pre and in-service education.
Success stories and experiences in institutionalizing the FP-TRP emanating from the countries will be documented and be presented in regional and international forum including the 12th ECSACON Scientific Conference slated to take place from 7-9 September in Nairobi Kenya.
Special gratitude goes to Ms. Stembile Mugore from Evidence to action project for technical and leadership support; Ados May from IBP and Candace Lew from Pathfinder for their technical support as well as Prof. Yoswa Dambisya and Alphonce Kalula from ECSA Health Community, Ms. Susan Otieno the President of ECSACON and Director of Nursing Services Kenya and Ms. Vumilia Mmari from Ministry of Health Tanzania for continuous technical support and sharing experience from Tanzania.
The executive committee which is the organ responsible for day to day activities of East Central and South African College of Nursing (ECSACON) met at Blue Pearl Hotel, Dar es Salaam Tanzania from 4-5 July 2015. The members attended the meeting are Ms. Susan Otieno who is the president of the college, Mr Gustav Moyo the vice president, Dr Cynthia Chaibva who is representing the council of the college, Prof. Yoswa Dambisya who is the Director General of ECSA Health Community and Alphonce Kalula who is the Senior Program Officer heading the secretariat of the college based in Arusha, Tanzania.
The meeting came up with a number of strategies aiming at strengthening the activities of the college including the preparations for the upcoming 12th ECSACON Scientific Conference slated to take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 5-9 September 2016.
The meeting was preceded by the planning meeting of the introduction of Family Planning Training Resource Package (FP-TRP) for nurse educators in Tanzania which is the collaborative activity led by Evidence to Action (E2A) project together with ECSA Health Community, Implementing Best Practices (IBP) and Pathfinder International with funding support from USAID.
The East Central and Southern Africa College of Nursing (ECSACON) which is the professional body for nurses and midwives in ECSA region, aggregated nurses and midwives and nurse specialist such as theatre nurses, critical care nurse inTyolo district Malawi for two weeks from 6-17 November 2014 to join other health professionals including Surgeons , Physicians of different specialties such as orthopedic , urologists, cardiologists , Anesthetists and Physiotherapistsin providing medical and surgical services to more than 100 patients. The nurses and midwives played an important role in offering services right from the screening of patients, to theatre, critical care and general care in the wards under the leadership of Mr. Optatus Silanda a critical care nurse specialist from Tanzania.
The camp held in Malawi was the third one following others held in the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland in 2012 and 2013 respectively where by nurses and midwives played a key role in supporting the camp.
The Director General of ECSA Health Community Professor Yoswa Dambisya and presidents of ECSACON and College of Anesthesiology of East, Central and Southern Africa (CANESCA) and the Immediate past president of the College of Surgeons (COSECSA) was in attendance . During the handing over meeting, The President of ECSACON Mrs. Susan Otieno urged nurses and midwives to embrace team work and collaborative care which has shown to reduce stress and burnout among health workers. She reminded nurses and midwives to provide quality care both in the hospitals and households in the community in order to meet the changing realities of interdependent health demands of the region
She used the opportunity to appeal to the nurses and Midwives in the region to join and actively participate in ECSACON country chapters activities. She further said that by beingECSACON active members, the college would grow from strength to strength in representing nurses and midwives in the region
ECSACON mobilized nurses and midwives from its country chapters including, Swaziland, Malawi, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Following the elections conducted during the 5th Quadrennial General Meeting held in Harare Zimbabwe from 4-5 September 2014, the following were elected for the ECSACON office for the period of four years from 2014-2018.
|1.||Ms. Susan Otieno||Presidentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|2.||Mr. Gustav Moyo||Vice Presidentemail@example.com|
|3.||Ms. Dolorence Wakida||Chairperson Faculty of Educationfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|4.||Dr. Cynthia Chaibva||Chairperson Faculty of Researchemail@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org|
|5.||Ms. Marilyn Msibi||Chairperson Faculty of Leadership & Managementemail@example.com|
|6.||Ms. Sarah Siyunda||Chairperson Faculty of Clinical Practicefirstname.lastname@example.org|
For further information please visit our governance page