Kenya:nursing mentorship curriculum launched

EVANS KANINI By EVANS KANINI, 31st Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Recovery & Coping

Top health officials pay glowing tribute to nursing profession founded by the iconic Florence Nightingale many years ago


A HIV nursing mentor ship curriculum was yesterday launched in Kenya at a colorful ceremony attended by senior ministry of health officials, county government leaders, development partners and representatives from the International Center for Aids Care and Treatment Program (Icap), led by the Country Director, Dr Mark Hawken.

The ceremony took place at a Nairobi hotel during which the noble role of nurses in HIV care and treatment was enthusiastically welcomed and hailed by speaker after speaker.

In his moving speech, Dr Hawken set the ball rolling when he described nurses as a great resource in HIV management and treatment, in an admirable spirit that had moved hearts across the country.

"They carry a big burden in caring and providing for patients living with HIV and have significantly contributed to growing efforts of fighting the pandemic in the country", Dr Hawken stated.


Icap supports programs and research that address HIV/AIDS and related conditions and works to strengthen health systems.

Icap currently supports HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs in 13 African countries including: Cote Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania.

Icap supports several hundred project sites, which provide HIV prevention, care and treatment to hundreds of thousands of individuals.

With a special emphasis on family-focused care, use of multidisciplinary teams, attention to the multitude of needs of individuals at risk for or living with HIV/AIDS, Icap programs include HIV counseling and testing, prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, comprehensive HIV care, anti-retro viral therapy, and management for related conditions, such as tuberculosis.

Icap's goal is to build capacity for the implementation of diverse programs and to support the strengthening of other aspects of health systems, such as the renovation of health facilities, the training and mentoring of health care providers, and building the capacity of program managers and administrators.

Such programs include Clinical Mentorship Systems Training and the Icap Nurse Capacity Initiative. In addition, Icap supports a Student Opportunities Program for undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines.

Icap partners with both public and private organizations, including ministries of health, the World Health Organization, and UNA IDS.

Taken ill

Back to the breakfast meeting at the Nairobi hotel, Kenya's Chief Nursing Officer Chris Rakuom, who was to outline the role of nursing, did not attend the ceremony as he was unfortunately taken ill earlier.

However, he was represented By Fredrick Omiah who also hailed nurses at length, for playing an integral part of the health workforce.

"Nurses have provided care, great care for infected individuals, as well as offering comforting messages of hope to the victims. It is encouraging how they have contributed immensely towards care and management of HIV in our country", he asserted.

"The Ministry of health is committed in the training of nurses as we pride ourselves in nurses who are well-trained. The government of Kenya will increase more nurses to cope with the growing health demands", Omiah went on.

The official emphasized that it was imperative that the growing number of health facilities was commensurate with an equal number of nurses to avoid a situation where they were unfairly stretched.

Lynn Middleton from Icap, NY Columbia University, who was expected to give a speech touching on the Global Nurse Capacity Building Program, was engaged elsewhere, but apologies for absence were made, owing to unavoidable commitments.


Elizabeth Oywer, Registrar Nursing Officer, Kenya, gave a coherent account on the scope of nursing practice in Kenya which was instrumental in developing the curriculum.

"HIV is in every curriculum that we have. We collaborate with other stakeholders in expanding our vision and practice notwithstanding the fact that we are autonomous", she stated.

She noted with appreciation that nurses provide 80 per cent of health care services in this East African country which she described as rehabilitative, curative, preventive, pro motive and innovative.

"Nurses are totally committed in ensuring that patients receive quality health care, and will constantly and consistently, work towards that cause", Oywer stressed.

Dr Francis Kimani who represented the Director of Medical Services, 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", Kimani noted.

He 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".


Kimani 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", Kimani concluded as he, Dr Haukman, Oywer and Omiah proceeded in colorfully launching the curriculum, to cheers from the exhilarated guests.


Hiv, Hiv Aids Among People, Hiv And Aids, Hiv Cure, Hiv Statistics, Hiv Virus

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author avatar EVANS KANINI
Kenyan journalist writing on issues of education, health, environment, agriculture, water, democracy, human rights and governance.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
2nd Apr 2014 (#)

another inimitable piece Evans..thank you

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