With constant advances in health care knowledge, there is a need to continually innovate ways to upgrade the knowledge and skills to competently deal complex issues emerging in the professions. Both educators and practitioners in the field need skills to help them practice their profession in a way that responds to the needs of the people while promoting healthy living among the community. It is against this background that the School of Nursing and Midwifery has kicked off the first ever international conference on global innovations in nursing and midwifery education, research and practice.
The Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Dr. Donatilla MUKAMA (PhD) said that the major goal of this global conference is to promote innovation of nursing and midwifery education and research, and to develop strategies for enhancing global exchange of programming ideas. “We need to promote innovations in nursing education, research and practice so that we improve on the care we give our clients. From various researches to be presented, participants will exchange ideas on how they can introduce technology in teaching nurses and midwives and also in offering care while also upholding compassion and improved communication with patients. It is an occasion to exchange the best practices, experiences, and innovations from different participants and this will frame the way we train nurses and midwives and also the way we offer care; whether clinical, palliative and prevention of infections,” Dr. Donatilla reflected.In her opening remarks, the Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes BINAGWAHO (PhD) called upon nursing and midwifery educators to apply innovations in the training of midwives and nurses.
The Minister of Health addressing participants
“Nurses and midwives constitute a backbone of this nation's sustainability. Therefore, I appeal to you educators and practitioners to align innovations with the professions and delivering a better care for the people. To the nurses and midwives, you should always strive to be more of a bridge between doctors and patients in your service provision so that a patient enjoys his/her right of choice,” the Minister of Health appealed.
On the issue of the respect of the patient’s right, she challenged conference participants to come up with innovative strategies on how this right be upheld.
The Minister was upbeat with the contribution so far given by nurses and midwives in advancing the country’s progress in health despite the low resources available. On this note, she underscored that health is not about a lot of money invested but it is all about how any country's health system is organized and how they bring in innovative ways in the coordination and synergizing healthcare delivery.
She lastly revealed that the Ministry of Health is in process of having educators with medical and other healthcare training backgrounds to dedicate at least 20% of clinical and community service in their workloads. She added that the same policy will equally find some staff from the Ministry of Health and its affiliates teaching at least 20% of courses within the College of medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda.
Some of the participants who attended the conference
This conference has attracted Nursing and Midwifery leadership and supporters from Africa and the United States while harnessing the strength of the Ministry of Health Human Resources for Health (HRH) program. World renowned leaders have graced the conference as speakers and they include the President of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Coordinators of HRH Nursing programs in the United States, and leaders from East African Countries and South Africa.