The nursing mentorship curriculum which was launched in Kenya on Monday following a joint effort between ICAP and the Ministry of Health, has been enthusiastically welcomed by government officials and various professionals in the health sector, as a step in the right direction.
Government officials and those in the medical arena saw the curriculum launch as a boon to nurses, the nursing profession in general and patients too.
They told the media that mentoring helps cultivate nurse leaders, retain nurses and diversify the nursing workforce.
The HIV nursing mentor ship curriculum was launched in Nairobi- Kenya’s capital city at a colorful ceremony attended by senior Ministry of health officials, county government leaders, development partners and top representatives from ICAP led by the Country Director, Dr Mark Hawken.
Officials felt that It was not just mentors and mentees who benefit from such a curriculum. The entire profession does, patients and their families, too.
Mentoring, officials asserted, is a noble way to strengthen the nursing workforce and, in turn, improve the quality of care and patient outcomes.
Nurses comprise the largest group of health care professionals in the nation and spend more direct time with patients than other providers.
As a result, they have unique insights to share in debates and discussions about health care reform.
Mentoring helps nurses develop into the kind of leaders who can play a larger part in the development, design and delivery of health care, which will ultimately strengthen the nation’s health care system.
Mentoring also helps health care organizations and academic institutions retain nurses and nurse educators, which can curb a shortage of nurses and nurse faculty.
During the launch of the nursing mentorship curriculum in Nairobi, Dr William Maina who represented the Director of Medical Services Dr Francis Kimani, said that nurses were the nucleus of any health facility in the country, hence their recognition as important people in the society.
“There is no health service without a nurse who provides an all-round service at community level”, Dr Maina, who is the Director of Preventive and Promotive Services, noted.
Dr Maina continued:
“Nurses have done much in the gallant struggle against HIV. They are specialists in this crusade! And besides, majority of the counselors are nurses. They should be given maximum support in their endeavors to reduce HIV infections in the country”.
Dr Maina regretted that there were 100,000 new cases of HIV infections in Kenya annually, out of which 13,000 were babies born with HIV.
“There is dire need for all stakeholders to make an integrated approach in curtailing this figure. We should give the country a high score by cutting the new infections. Nurses should continue helping us as we give them the necessary support”, Dr Maina concluded as he, Dr Hawken, Oywer and Omiah proceeded in colorfully launching the curriculum, to cheers from the exhilarated guests. It was a ceremony to behold.
ICAP is no longer an acronym for International Center For Aids Care and Treatment Program. The name is just ICAP because its officials now deal with more than just HIV.