200 years since the birth of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, and the role of nurses in the society can not be disregarded. The National Nurses Association of Kenya (NNAK), has today launched a campaign to celebrate the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife in the Country.
The campaign is in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) designation of 2020 as the year of the Nurse and Midwife, to celebrate the pivotal role that nurses and midwives play in the health sector.
This development will see NNAK embark on countrywide activities to recognize, honor, and celebrate the nursing and midwifery profession in Kenya and the role they play in the country’s healthcare system.
Speaking while making the announcement, NNAK President, Mr. Alfred Obengo emphasized the important role that nurses and midwives play in the delivery of quality healthcare.
“Nursing and midwifery form an essential part of our healthcare systems. This year’s celebration places emphasis on the role we play in the delivery of quality healthcare, our areas of specialization, the strides we have made, and the need to develop joint frameworks to enhance our work,” he said.
Nurses and midwives he added, are a critical component of healthcare professionals as they are the first point of contact with patients.
Primarily observed as clinical care providers at the bedside, nurses, and midwives have multifaceted and multi-sectoral roles in leadership. This is demonstrated at the policy level, academia, administration, entrepreneurship, and advocacy at all levels.
Besides working in hospitals, nurses and midwives play a critical role in policy and curriculum development in higher institutions of learning. They also work in industries and pharmaceutical companies.
They have demonstrated their competence and capacity in combating the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, a situation that has brought to the fore the sacrifices made by the country’s health professionals as they nurse the sick, and midwife expectant mothers.
Kenya has also realized a higher proportion of births occurring in health facilities, a trend that points towards improved access to skilled delivery services and overall infant and maternal well-being. Currently, the country has 58,247 registered nurses and midwives.
Among the activities lined up include webinars and direct engagements with various stakeholders including the media and the public. All the activities are aimed at honoring the Kenyan nurse and midwife as well and empowering them in different ways.
The NNAK President expressed his desire for Kenyans to join in the campaign as well as refresh and re-energize the sector.
“As we launch the campaign for International Year of the Nurse celebrations, it is my desire that we will be refreshed and re-energized, knowing that the journey towards caring for Kenya is far from over,” he said.