20 November: Today ICN joins the celebrations for Universal Children’s Day
20 November: Today ICN joins the celebrations for Universal Children’s Day. ICN has endorsed the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In particular, we believe that nurses have a role to play in monitoring implementation of children’s rights and reporting the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children to appropriate authorities.
ICN is directly contributing to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 2: Achieve primary education through our Girl Child Education Fund, which supports the primary and secondary schooling of girls under the age of 18 in developing countries whose nurse parent or parents have died, paying for fees, uniforms, shoes and books.
Hand hygiene dramatically reduces infection transmission
A study published in Lancet Infectious Diseases shows that the World Health Organization’s strategy for improving hand hygiene has a dramatic effect in reducing the number of health-care related infections and is easy for health-care workers to practice. ICN’s fact sheet on infection control states that hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the transmission of infections. Because nurses are in close contact with patients, they are exposed to a variety of microbes, some of which may cause disease. By adhering to appropriate hand washing guidelines, nurses can prevent infection transmission.
ensuring health-care workers have access to alcohol-based handrub at the point of patient care;
training and education of health-care workers on the most important times in patient care for hand hygiene;
monitoring and feedback on compliance;
visual reminders at the point of care in the workplace;
creation of a culture of attention to patient and health-care worker safety within the institution.
Last Updated on Friday, 01 November 2013 01:00
On 30 October 2013, ...
patients in countries across Africa will come together to mark the first ever regional Patient Solidarity Day.
They will call on all Ministers of Health and all health care stakeholders to “improve lives through patient-centred health care.” ICN has partnered with the International Alliance of Patient Organizations and many other organisations to promote this and celebrate the place of the patient at the heart of health care.
Why is Patient Solidarity Day important? Health systems in Africa are under pressure and cannot cope if they continue to focus on diseases rather than patients.
Healthcare challenges in Africa are complex, patients face:
The multiple burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS, injuries and trauma
Large inequities in the treatment and prevention of disease
Lack of medications to meet patients’ needs
Lack of resources, which make even basic patient safety techniques difficult to achieve
Registration opens for World Health Professions Regulation Conference
The world’s only international and interdisciplinary conference devoted to regulation in the health professions will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 17-18 May 2014. Registration is now open at www.whpa.org/whpcr2014/registration.htm
The conference, entitled “Health professional regulation – facing challenges to act in the public interest”, is aimed at the global community of health professionals interested and involved in regulation.
Scheduled to run over one and a half days, immediately before the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly in Geneva, the third World Health Professions Regulation Conference will provide participants with insights, perspectives and discussion on current challenges in health professional regulation.
Key speakers will explore the lessons learned from competence-based approaches to regulation, compare regulatory models and examine ways of promoting best practice in regulatory governance and performance.
The harmful use of alcohol results in 2.5 million deaths each year. According to WHO, 320,000 young people between the age of 15 and 29 die from alcohol-related causes, resulting in 9% of all deaths in that age group. ICN is concerned about the growing number of youths who abuse alcohol and other drugs. Nurses, as key providers of health care for young people, have a crucial role in addressing substance abuse in this age group.
Prevention and reduction of substance abuse through policy and advocacy, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and equipping youth with life skills to deal with stress, peer pressure, and other risk factors is an important role for ICN and nursing. The harmful use of alcohol is one of the risk factors leading to the growing burden of chronic diseases. WHO has developed innovative portals on alcohol and health with a web-based self-help intervention tool in four pilot countries, Belarus, Brazil, India and Mexico. The portals provide information not only for policymakers and professionals, but also for the public at large. They include a self-screening tool for hazardous and harmful use of alcohol and a fully computerized self-help programme for people who wish to reduce or stop drinking alcohol.
1 October 2013: International Day of the Older Person
Today, worldwide, there are 800 million persons aged 60 years and over, and this number is expected to more than double by 2050 – rising to just over two billion (Harvard Initiative for Global Health 2011). It is clear that a growing population of older adults and an increase in chronic disease will place increased demand on a range of health services - health promotion, illness prevention, rehabilitation, acute and chronic care, and end-of-life care.
This is where nurses can provide the solution. Nurses provide cost-effective solutions to complex system problems. We open up access to quality health care to everyone in a community. We strive to prevent illness and keep people well informed and educated so they can manage their own conditions. Nurses can help safeguard the safety and security of older people. The mistreatment of older people is a global problem. Research shows increasing reports of abuse of elders at home and in health care settings. Nurses have an ethical and moral responsibility to serve as advocates for the world’s vulnerable and victimized populations.
Nursing services constitute the largest single element in providing care for the frail, sick and dying, while also contributing to health maintenance and disease prevention. Supporting family-care, self-care and the right of the older person to participate in decisions concerning life-style and treatment, are important aspects of the nurse’s role. Older persons tend to be considered as a homogeneous group. ICN firmly believes that older persons need and have a right to expect individualised treatment or care plans developed with the nurse, a key member of the health team.
ICN has produced fact sheets on many different issues of ageing:
The 6th Global Patients Congress is the global event for patient leaders and others working to improve healthcare systems globally. The Congress will bring together expertise and experience in how to build patient-centred healthcare globally, providing an internationalplatform for high level policy debate, knowledge and skills building as well as opportunities for exchange and networking.
The Congress theme is ‘Better access, better health: A patient-centred approach to universal health coverage’. The Congress will explore how a patient-centred approach can address the factors that will lead to universal health coverage and consider the patients’ perspective. Plenary and workshop sessions will focus on topics that explore questions such as: What are the barriers to access to healthcare in different world regions? What are the principles that promote equity? What are the indicators of quality healthcare? What is the value of innovation? How should healthcare be financed?
The programme features plenaries with keynote speakers and a range of parallel sessions including papers submitted through the open call process. The members’ day will include capacity-focussed sessions on how patients’ organizations can advocate on issues of access to healthcare. The multi-stakeholder programme will explore a patient-centred approach as it relates to three themes: equity, quality and finance in all world regions.
21 September: World Alzheimer’s Day – Dementia: A journey of caring
According to a July 2013 report by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, life expectancy is projected to reach 76 years in the period 2045-2050 and 82 years in 2095-2100. A WHO 2011 report on Global Health and Ageing states, “The potential for an active, healthy old age is tempered by one of the most daunting and potentially costly consequences of ever-longer life expectancies: the increase in people with dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease. Most dementia patients eventually need constant care and help with the most basic activities of daily living, creating a heavy economic and social burden. Prevalence of dementia rises sharply with age. An estimated 25-30 percent of people aged 85 or older have dementia.” Read more…
Nurses play a central role in raising public awareness and recognition of dementia throughout the world. They promote the importance of assessment and early diagnosis; the need for inclusive community support services and accommodation options; and the value of education and training for formal and informal caregivers. They encourage and support caregiver self-help groups and multidisciplinary collaboration in dementia oriented practice and research. And they advocate for the protection of patients’ rights and interests. More information can be found on:
Global Nursing Leaders Institute 7-13 September 2013
With the contemporary theme, Redesigning Health Systems, the fifthICN-Burdett Global Nursing Leadership Institute will take place from 7-13 September in Geneva. Twenty-seven nursing leaders from 24 countries have been selected to take part in this year’s event. Speakers will include:
Maureen McTeer(Co-chair of the Canadian National Expert Commission);
Fariba Al Dharazi (Regional Advisor for Nursing and Midwifery for EMRO-WHO);
Helen S Rycraft (Headof ProfessionHuman Factorsand Organisational Learning atMagnox Ltd.);
Sheila Tlou (Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for East and Southern Africa);
Professor Ginka Toegel (teacher, facilitator and researcher at the International Institute for Management Development);
Jessie Schutt-Aine, UN Accountability Initiative for the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health
Judith Shamian (ICN President); and
Tesfa Ghebrehiwet (former ICN nursing consultant on Nursing and Health Policy).
The GNLI offers an advanced leadership programme for nurses and/or midwives at senior level and executive positions in developed and developing countries across the world. The programme, drawing on the expertise of international faculty, allows participants to review and enhance their national and global leadership knowledge and skills within a collaborative and stimulating learning culture. The GNLI is facilitated by Dr Stephanie Ferguson, who is also Director of the ICN Leadership for Change™ programme. Support for the GNLI is also provided by Pfizer, the founding sponsor.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 01:00
Dying to Deliver: Surviving labour in sub-Saharan Africa
The Flight for Every Mother (FEM) is flying high to raise awareness and action about maternal health in sub-Saharan Africa. UK obstetrician and pilot Dr Sophia Webster, and her team are on the wing to Cape Town, South Africa from where they will fly back England via 23 African countries** with high maternal mortality rates. Video http://vimeo.com/68839627.
You can Follow Flight for Every Mother on Facebook.
The FEM flight path targets countries furthest from reaching Millennium Development Goal 5 - to reduce maternal mortality and improve maternal health. The FEM team will stop along the way to provide labour ward teaching and offer donations of basic equipment in local facilities caring for pregnant women and raise awareness about maternal health. Flight for Every Mother will also fund-raise for the Girl Child Education Fund and six other charities*, chosen because their sustainable work focuses on a different aspect of maternal health.
Many factors impact reproductive health outcomes for women, including little or no formal education, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, violence, poverty and poor access to skilled health care. The project aims to draw attention and to raise funds via sponsorship. The FEM pilots will create an international following by way of an on-line blog detailing their challenging journey. Dr Sophia Webster has a passion for global maternal health and travels regularly to countries in sub-Saharan Africa to teach clinical skills to doctors, nurses, midwives and community health workers. The FEM project is sponsored by the UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
FEM director, Dr Sophia Webster can be contacted via
* GCEF, AMREF, SMILE, Life for African Mothers, Transaid, 28toomany, mothers2mothers
** South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Senegal, the Gambia, Western Sahara and Morocco
Last Updated on Monday, 26 August 2013 01:00
12 August 2013: International Youth Day: ”Youth Migration : Moving Development Forward”
ICN believes that nurses in all countries have the right to migrate as a function of choice, regardless of their motivation. Today, many young nurses look for employment abroad for many reasons. ICN acknowledges the potential benefits of migration, including learning opportunities and the rewards of multicultural practice. At the same time, ICN acknowledges that international migration may negatively affect health care quality in regions or countries seriously depleted of their nursing workforce.
This marked increase in movement of the health care workforce across national borders generates a number of concerns. Paramount among these concerns is the issue of public and patient safety. Globally, ICN continues to develop competencies, model legislation, regulatory policy and guidelines in order to bring transparency, provide portability of education and facilitate trade in services. Nurses must be engaged in the formulation of these arrangements, as these frameworks must recognise not only the theoretical learning, but also the practical dimensions of producing a competent professional. For more on this topic, go to:
Infants who are breastfed have fewer illnesses and are better nourished than those who are fed other drinks and foods. It is estimated that 1.5 million infant lives would be saved, and the health and development of millions of others would be greatly improved, if exclusive breastfeeding took place in the first six months of life. ICN upholds the mother’s right to make an informed choice about infant feeding.
Support for mothers is essential. Nurses can provide emotional, informational, and practical support. They can make a significant contribution to the successful initiation of and continuation of breastfeeding, and provide new mothers with the confidence and reassurance needed to ensure successful breastfeeding. Nurses and national nurses associations have a responsibility to actively promote the provisions of the International Code of the Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes.
ICN recently signed the Declaration on Safe Medical Equipment “calling on the European institutions to phase out the use of hazardous chemical in medical devices unless no safer alternatives are available.”
Along with seven other organisations, ICN is concerned about patients being exposed to harmful chemicals during medical treatment and, as such, joined the call to the EU legislation to encourage the health care sector to move away from unsustainable health care practices that pollute the environment and contribute to disease.