Health Chief Administration Secretary (CAS) Dr Mercy Mwangangi has called for collaboration in the health sector to address nurses and midwives’ challenges.
Dr Mwangangi said the collaboration will help solve the challenges in the health sector and advance the practice to greater heights.
She urged the nurses and midwives to unite and use their numerical strength to push for their interests.
“Nurses and midwives account for over 50 per cent of the healthcare workforce and have a great opportunity to have their grievances addressed easily when they speak with one voice,” she said.
Speaking during a Webinar hosted by the National Nurses Association of Kenya (NNAK) to commemorate the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, the CAS acknowledged the vital role played by the health professionals in the healthcare system.
She said for the country to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), nurses and midwives will be required to be at the core of the vision.
Dr Mwangangi added that during this pandemic, health professionals have been at the forefront, reinforcing the need to strengthen their capacities as they continue providing healthcare services for all.
“The Covid-19 has also brought to the fore the critical role played by our medics in as far as nursing is concerned. We need to come together as stakeholders towards the realisation of a vibrant nursing profession,” said the CAS.
“Solving nursing challenges goes beyond making noise. It is important to outline the critical services that nurses and midwives offer and what the gaps are,” she added.
The CAS revealed that the ongoing home-based care programme was a brainchild of a Kenyan nurse, adding that the ministry is working with NNAK and other healthcare professionals to offer psychosocial support to all healthcare workers through the Covid-19 Contact Centre.
Improving the scheme of work
NNAK President Alfred Obengo urged nurses and midwives to join hands and use the Covid-19 pandemic period to tackle matters that are important for the profession.
He revealed that they are working towards reviewing the scope of nursing practice in Kenya as envisaged by the stakeholders.
“We are in the process of reviewing our current scope of practice so that we have a paradigm shift from the traditional nurse to a modern nurse who can make independent decisions in the profession,” he said
Obengo said improving the current scheme of work will give nurses and midwives an opportunity to advance their career.
In addressing the issue of nursing education in the country, the Director of Nursing Services, Dr Mary Nandili said they have resolved the issue of nursing students who will be posted for their internships in two weeks across the country, indicating that it is important to keep the cycle the profession ongoing.
“As a progressive profession, we understand that we must keep our workforce cycle ongoing. To this end, we have over 500 slots which we shall be posting to different healthcare facilities in the coming weeks,” she said.
She applauded NNAK, International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for spearheading the campaign to commemorate 2020 as the year of the nurse and the midwife.
Also in attendance were Vice President, International Council of Nurses (ICN) Thembeka Gwagwa and Deputy Director of Nursing Services Francis Ogola.
Gwagwa hailed the nurses and midwives for playing a role for the well-being of the Africa continent.