Nurse leaders from 17 countries in ECSA region meet in Johannesburg

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 Introduction of Family Planning Training Resource Package (FP-TRP) in ECSA Region

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;

  1. Orient the tutors on competency based training and education and their application in relation to Family Planning Component.
  2. 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.
  3. Describe FP/RH best practices, evidence based resources and tools and their application in nurses and midwives education.
  4. 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.

Trainees interacting during preparation for the role plays for demonstration in the classroom.

Trainees interacting during preparation for the role plays for demonstration in the classroom.

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;

  1. Assess the knowledge on family planning and competency based training based on a pre-post knowledge assessment
  2. 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.
  3. Familiarize with FP/RH best practices and evidence based resources and tools including the Training Resource Package and the Medical Eligibility Criteria.
  4. Practice how to navigate the online and flash drive versions of FP-TRP using the Module on Standard Days Method.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Workshop participants in the group photo, Ridar Hotel Kampala Uganda

Workshop participants in the group photo, Ridar Hotel Kampala Uganda

Trainees performing practical session on how to administer the family planning methods

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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

 

Way forward

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.

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Executive Committee of ECSACON Meets in Dar es Salaam, 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.

Members of the Executive Committee meeting in a group photo from left Dr. Cynthia Chaibva, Mr Gustav Moyo, Prof. Yoswa Dambisya the Director General of ECSA Health Community, Alphonce Kalula, and Ms. Susan Otieno who is the President of ECSACON

Members of the Executive Committee meeting in a group photo from left Dr. Cynthia Chaibva, Mr Gustav Moyo, Prof. Yoswa Dambisya the Director General of ECSA Health Community, Alphonce Kalula, and Ms. Susan Otieno who is the President of ECSACON


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