Participants during the virtual workshop.
Doha: The World Innovation Summit for Health joined forces with Nursing Now Challenge, a global initiative to promote leadership in nursing, to organise a series of virtual workshops ahead of this year’s World Health Assembly 75, for young nurses and midwives from around the world.
Participants had been selected from hundreds of applicants to take part in a forum created to promote nursing leadership and empowerment.
“Nurses and midwives are uniquely positioned within healthcare environments to effectuate change and lead innovation that in turn contribute to improved health outcomes for populations. These workshops further our ambition to enhance the self-awareness of early-stage nurses and midwives to enable them to see their value and understand ways in which they can impact policy making, supported by the right guidance and a global network of like-minded individuals,” said Sultana Afdhal, WISH CEO.
Joined by several other global health experts from WISH, the World Health Organization (WHO), Nursing Now Challenge, European Federation of Nurses Associations, and The University of Edinburgh, Afdhal was speaking at a session that delved into fundamental issues and challenges that early career nurses and midwives face globally in the areas of leadership and advocacy in healthcare settings.
WISH’s Director of Partnerships and Outreach Nick Bradshaw said: “Substandard care wastes resources, demoralises health and care workers, and harms the health of populations, which makes the need for ongoing innovations in healthcare more pronounced. At WISH, we believe that frontline health and care workers are at the heart of healthcare innovation; more than anyone, they understand the health delivery challenges that need addressing and are therefore perfectly placed to be the drivers of change.”
A trained nurse from Uganda and a recent winner of WISH’s Nursing Innovation Grant, Faith Nawagi argued for a need to revise the Hippocratic Oath. Taken by all nurses and midwives at the very beginning of their career, the Oath remains unrevised for 87 years, Nawagi pointed out, adding that it should now include a statement on prioritising the health and care worker’s mental health and wellbeing.
Through in-depth discussions, participants from countries including Australia, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, South Africa, Spain, and the UK collectively reflected on diverse topics including nurse-led innovation in healthcare, the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workforces globally, and the mental health of nurses and midwives.
In a session titled, ‘The Future of Nursing and Midwifery,’ Dr. Carey McCarthy, Nursing and Midwifery Focal Point for the Health Workforce Department at WHO, shared an overview of key nursing and midwifery global policy areas and WHO’s strategic directions to ensure their implementation on a country-level. She stressed the role of nurses and midwives toward achieving Universal Health Coverage, which is a major target under the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being.