NAIROBI, Sept 9 (NNN-KBC) — Kenya is set to benefit from an initiative that aims to upgrade the skills of 10,000 middle level health workers across Africa.

The East, Central and Southern Africa College of Nursing (ECSACON) plans to upgrade skills of nurses holding certificates to diploma level as it moves to assist countries in the region achieve human resources for health 2030 agenda and innovations in preparing competent, skilled and motivated nurses and midwives.

ECSACON is working with Amref to develop programmes to build capacity of nurses and midwives particularly in the area of specialized trainings.

Speaking during the ECSACON conference in Nairobi, Dr Joachim Osur, Director, Regional Offices, Amref Health Africa said capacity building of midlevel Workers through in-service and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is key in achieving universal health coverage goals.

The training of mid-level workers will lead to trust and better patient-centred care, especially in facilities run by nurses, said DrOsur.

The WHO recommends a norm of 21.7 doctors per 100,000 population and 228 nurses per 100,000 population. Kenya had 14 doctors per 100,000 population and only 42 nurses per 100,000 population respectively in 2016.

Kenya has not been able to fill the approved positions in all the health facilities; the gap is much worse in primary health facilities than tertiary care.

Amref’s Institute for Capacity Development (ICD) was founded on the need to continuously produce and develop Human Resources for Health in Africa. It focuses on building the technical, leadership and management skills of low and middle-level health sector staff and decision makers in Governments, Parastatals, NGOs, the private sector and community-based organizations.

Kenya intends to unveil its Nursing Policy that will articulate issues of numbers and skills to be upgraded for the improvement of quality of care.

At the same time, ECSACON is working with IFC/World Bank to look at issues of Education and labour markets in ECSA Region. The study is at its initial stages, but once complete, recommendations will be made regarding whom to train, how to train and where they go after qualification.

ECSACON is a professional body for nurses and midwives established in 1990.

ECSACON is charged with the responsibility of promoting and strengthening professional excellence in nursing and midwifery in the ECSA region.