INCI News - 1st Quarter 2010

First International INCI Workshop Held in Swaziland

Photo caption: INCI workshop conference participants.
Report by David Schulman (pictured below)
, INCI-Swaziland Project Coordinator

The ICAP Nurse Capacity Initiative (INCI), in collaboration with the ICAP Center of Excellence (ICOE) at the University of Fort Hare, had the honor of hosting the first ICOE international workshop. The workshop was held from Dec. 7 to 9, 2009, in Ezulwini, Swaziland. The purposes of the workshop included orienting countries participating in the INCI to the ICOE and sharing the current realities and challenges in HIV care. This exercise encompassed discussions around HIV care in relation to pre-service, in-service, mentorship and nurse retention.

The International Council of Nurses through Dr. Tesfamicael Ghebrehiwet facilitated a comprehensive session about nursing leadership, advocacy and planning skills to strengthen nursing presence in policy in the context of HIV/AIDS and health system strengthening. This further promoted the bonding among the participating countries through the strategies such as the development of a cohesive network of nurses. Participating countries included Swaziland, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and South Africa.

The Swaziland Ministry of Health played a pivotal role in the success of the workshop, with the official opening done by the Honorable Minister of Health Benedict Xaba. Other dignitaries included U.S. Ambassador Earl Irving, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. Steven Shongwe, Chief Nursing Officer Thembisile Khumalo, senators and honorable members of Parliament in the Ministry of Health Portfolio Committee.

The purpose of the workshop was to:

  • Orient the nursing representatives from the countries initiating INCIs to the larger mission INCI-ICOE
  • Share current realities and challenges of nurses from participating countries in HIV care
  • Share best practices/models of nurse-mentorship that are effective in capacitating nurse educators (pre-service) and nurses (in-service)
  • Assist in targeted discussion, guidance and support for Swaziland nursing initiatives
  • Introduce areas for specific training that INCI-ICOE can support, i.e., core curriculum as well as country-specific technical assistance planning
  • Explore issues of nursing leadership with focus on HIV care, led by International Council of Nurses
  • Promote bonding amongst the participating countries through strategies such as the development of a cohesive network of nurses, publishing a newsletter and other means of communication and on-going support

Way forward/Work plan

Countries developed country specific workplans. Workplans were based on the purpose of the INCI in the respective countries, plans for 2010, required support from ICOE and immediate plan of action in the next 30 days.

At the end of the workshop all delegates made work plans to support INCIs in their respective countries. Strategies that were universal across all countries included:

  • Strengthening existing nursing programs with relevant curricula, skills and mentoring. This will involve intensive auditing of available material and operationalizing strategies with relevant stakeholders.
  • Developing national in-service material for HIV treatment and care, with support for training and mentorship for nurses in all health facilities.
  • Identifying needed technical assistance from the ICOE.
  • Supporting national nurse retention strategies and care of the caregiver to promote health and wellbeing, minimize burn out and attrition.