NAIROBI, 23rd August 2018, (PSCU) —First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today launched a national campaign to promote the uptake of nursing services.
The campaign dubbed "Nursing Now Kenya" seeks to encourage healthcare providers covering national and county governments to continue engaging more health workers including nurses so as to improve the delivery of primary healthcare at community level.
The First Lady said the new campaign has been launched at a critical time as it will advocate for and bring attention to the profession of nursing and midwifery in the country.
“I am confident that as Kenya joins the Nursing Now campaign, there will be a concerted effort by the health sector and nursing associations to develop joint frameworks for promotion the status and recognition of our nursing fraternity,” said the First Lady.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta was speaking at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) when she presided over the launch of the campaign which is part of a three-year global campaign run in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization.
The key components of the campaign include provision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), professional leadership and development which aims at supporting nurses as leaders in policy and practice, realization of Sustainable Development Goals and improving access to effective professional practice for nurses and midwives.
The First Lady expressed confidence that the Nursing Now Campaign will contribute towards acceleration of Universal Health Coverage in Kenya which is both a key deliverable of the government's Big 4 development agenda and an important consideration in her Beyond Zero initiative.
“I look forward to supporting this campaign in the implementation of Beyond Zero’s 2nd Strategic Framework which focusses on the promotion of healthy lives and the well-being of all people,” said the First Lady.
She expressed her admiration for nurses and midwives saying they are the first point of contact with the community, at times putting their lives at great risk.
“Nursing goes beyond just being a job in health facilities. I have seen your hard work, your combined talents and dedication during my work and visits to health centres across the county,” noted the First Lady.
The First Lady added: “I have seen you serve, sometimes under difficult conditions, providing antenatal care to mothers, ensuring they deliver safely, and get the necessary medical attention and care to more than one million Kenyan mothers every year.”
She said it is for this reason that her Beyond Zero initiative partnered with the World Bank and Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) to provide training for 1,200 enrolled community health nurses from marginalized regions.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta underscored the critical role of nursing in Healthcare provision noting that where nurses have not been actively engaged at work, the effect on mothers and children has sometimes been immediate and devastating.
Speaking at the launch, Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said the campaign which will run until the end of 2020 is aimed at improving the perceptions of nurses, enhance their influence and maximize their contributions to ensure that everyone has access to healthcare.
CS Kariuki added that the vital role played by nurses and midwives in the world informed the decision to initiate the global Nursing Now Campaign.
“The Campaign seeks to influence involvement of Nurses and Midwives in policy and decision-making,” said the Cabinet Secretary.
The CS observed that although nurses and midwives comprise the largest segment of the health workforce worldwide, Kenya is understaffed by about 50 per cent of the same adding that it is commonplace for nurses working in hard to reach areas to single handedly manage health centres, carrying out all functions in the absence of other health professionals.
Other speakers at the function included Chief Administrative Secretary for Health Dr. Rashid Aman and Vice President of the International Council of Nurses Prof. Thembeka Gwagwa.
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