• Association says nursing certificate courses should have ended in 2017.
• National chairman Michael Nyongesa says diploma should be the minimum qualification for nurses.
Certificate courses in nursing undermine universal healthcare and should be scrapped.
This is according to a nurses association, which says the programmes should have been done away with two years ago. The Kenya Progressive Nurses Association says diploma should be the minimum qualification for nurses.
“Kenya’s population requires quality care in the spirit of the UHC. This can only be replicated by the level and quality of training of nurses and midwives. We’ve come of age to the extent that, as a country, we put strategies that certificate-level training for nurses would have ended in 2017,” chairman Michael Nyongesa said.
"As an association and as gatekeepers of our profession, we regret this course. It is neither in the interest of nurses nor patients for us as a country to revert to certificate training. It negates the spirit of UHC and the gains we’ve made as a country."
Nyongesa spoke in Garissa during the first day of 33rd Annual Scientific Conference on Public Nursing and Midwifery that also doubled up as the association's annual general meeting. The conference will end on Friday. It has been held in Garissa for the first time and its theme is "Attaining Universal Healthcare: the Nurses and Midwives Role'.
Nyongesa said nurses and midwives are crucial to healthcare teams, hence the need for quality training that can match their workload.
"During emergencies, they are on the front line, so let's ensure quality training, career-long learning, good working conditions and recognition because they promote health among families and communities," he said.
Ngongesa noted that the increase in chronic diseases such as cancer, heart conditions and diabetes means there will be more demand for nurses.
"To achieve UHC and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the world will need nine million more nurses and midwives, Kenya not left out. We, therefore, require to fill this critical gap as a country."
Garissa Health executive Ahmednadhir Sheikh said public health nursing is central to the functioning of any health system and should be adequately resourced with manpower, equipment and continuous capacity building.
He called for efforts towards harnessing the power of nurses to achieve universal health coverage and a healthier world.
"It will certainly benefit all our healthcare systems if we invest in building a strong cadre of public health nurses through rigorous training, specialisation and practice to enhance their skills," he said.
He urged nurses to pursue high excellence in their line of duties and be selfless in accepting postings to all areas. Sheikh appealed to them to put their expertise to good use in serving all Kenyans, whose taxes contributed to the success of their professional training.
(Edited by F'Orieny)