World Immunisation Week 24-30 April: Are you up to date?
Immunisation is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions. Thanks to modern vaccines crippling childhood diseases have been brought under control and some like smallpox have been eradicated saving the lives of millions. Immunisation is also a key strategy to ensure global health security and to respond to the threat of emerging infections. Despite the success of immunisation, parents sometimes fail to have their children fully vaccinated due to misinformation and unfounded rumours about possible adverse events. Failure to protect children through vaccination far outweighs any likelihood of adverse events following immunisation.
Nurses have possibly the most important role to play of any health care professional in the immunisation process. As the largest professional group that has presence in all health settings, nurses are most likely to advise and inform parents on vaccination, as well as actually administer vaccines. Nurses are also well placed to act as role models to achieve national goals and targets for immunisation coverage. ICN’s publication Adult and Childhood Immunisation provides up-to-date information to nurses and other health professionals. In addition, ICN has a fact sheet on Immunisations for health care workers: influenza and hepatits B which explores the issues associated with the immunisation of health care workers against these two important vaccine-preventable diseases.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 01:00
7 April: World Health Day: small creatures, big threat
World Health Day 2014 is focusing on vector-borne diseases which account for 17% of the estimated global burden of all infectious diseases. Malaria alone kills an estimated one million people every year. It has been recognised that climate change could significantly affect the ranges and numbers of disease vectors, such as mosquitoes, water quality, air quality, and food availability and quality.
In particular, ICN is concerned that the more than three billion people, who presently live in poverty across the world, will be seriously affected by climatic changes, as they are more dependent on natural resources, more vulnerable to infectious diseases and more prone to suffer the impact of disasters such as flood, drought, fires, and storms.
Reach the three million, A TB test, treatment and cure for all.
Of the nine million people a year who get sick with TB, a third of them do not get the TB services they deserve. The ICN TB/MDR-TB project is working to change that by providing more nurses around the world with the skills, expertise and knowledge in the prevention, care and treatment of TB. Nurses are in a unique position among health care providers to bridge the gap between health facilities and the community – the gap where many of the three million get lost. By integrating services effectively and engaging with local communities a continuum of care can be provided to ensure that everyone who experiences symptoms can access the right tests; people who have been tested will be given the results and if TB is diagnosed, will get access to the treatment they need in a way which fits into their lifestyle and takes account of their other priorities. The ICN TB Project is supported by a United Way Worldwide grant made possible by the Lilly Foundation on behalf of the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership.
We are pleased to be able to share with you the experiences of TB nurses across the world:
China: Nursing Director, Meng Guiyun from the Xinjiang Chest Hospital in Urumqi, Xinjiang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China is an outstanding alumnus of the ICN Training for Transformation project in China. Director Meng attended the first ICN training in China in 2009 and returned in 2010. Since the first training she has been successful in advocating to hold several trainings for nurses and other healthcare providers in her hospital as well as in several remote areas of the province. As of 2011 she has trained more than 1,000 healthcare workers across Xinjiang on TB.
In addition, she and colleagues who also attended the training in 2009 developed a handbook on TB that was given to prison medical staff to help identify signs and symptoms of TB among prisoners as well as information on appropriate treatment. They have also carried out trainings with prison medical staff on various aspects of TB including infection control.
Following the training Director Meng implemented changes in practice and has indicated that between 2009 and 2011 the percentage of staff unable to properly name medications used to treat TB decreased from 31.7% to 3.5%. Medication dosage errors also decreased from 5.9% to 0.5% during this same time period. The hospital also showed a decrease in the patient default rate from 5.2% to 3.5%.
Moreover, after successfully advocating for changes in infection control measures, UV lights were installed in the TB wards and the hospital has made improvements in ventilation in the wards resulting in a decrease in the number of TB cases among healthcare workers in the hospital from 27 cases in 2009 to 5 cases in 2011.
In 2013, Director Meng, in collaboration with another nurse leader, developed and published a book on TB infection control and best practices of care for TB patients specifically for nurses. This book is now available for purchase across China.
Indonesia: Veteran project lead from Indonesia, Astuti Yuni Nursasi, is the ICN TB Project focal point for Indonesian National Nurses association (INNA). Since 2010 she has been involved in three workshops as co-trainer and focal point for the ICN TB Project. She has shown great initiative especially with regard to advocating the nursing role in TB management and was personally involved in the development of standards for nursing practice issued by the Indonesian National TB Programme. In October 2013, she presented on the outcomes of the training in Indonesia at the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease Global Lung Health Conference in Paris. Today, she is writing her dissertation and plans to develop a nursing model of empowering nurses, health volunteers, family and TB clients to improve TB patients’ independence in TB treatment.
Yuni participated in the Second Forum of the Stop TB Partnership in the SE Asia, Western Pacific and East Mediterranean Regions on 3-4 March 2014 and will attend Indonesia’s National Symposium of TB on 29 March 2014.
Russia: Irina Lyapina, a chief nurse of Tolyatti TB Dispensary says that the ICN TB project has changed her professional life since she was able to participate in the first Train the Trainer workshops devoted to TB/MDR-TB care in 2009. Since then Irina has trained lots of nurses not only in her dispensary, but also in general primary and hospital care. She continues to teach both nurses and students and to study herself. She is interested in expanding the nursing role in caring for TB patients and in conducting a study on depression among the patients of a TB+HIV unit and nursing interventions that might be useful in controlling depression.
Tolyatti TB Dispensary has a unit for treatment of patients infected by both TB and HIV. Before 2012 this unit provided controlled treatment of TB, but there was no special control over HIV treatment from the unit staff. Patients or their family members needed to visit the AIDS Center to receive ARV drugs but some were unable to do so due to different reasons. In 2012 nursing roles in this unit were extended in order to provide coordinated and controlled treatment of both TB and HIV. In this new system the ARV drugs are sent to the nursing post and, after proper documentation by the head nurse, are given to the patients by the ward nurses. Nurses are also responsible for providing controlled treatment and motivating patients to continue the treatment. It is well known that patients receiving both TB and HIV therapy suffer from side-effects; many develop depression. Nurses monitor the emotional well-being of patients and intervene, provide necessary support and invite specialist doctors for individual consultations. As a result, all indicators of treatment outcomes in the unit have significantly improved. Out of all patients who received treatment in 2012, 79% of discharged patients were TB bacteria negative, and in 2013 this had risen to 86%. In addition, the TB/HIV unit achieved a decrease in mortality rates.
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.
Joint Consensus Statement on Postabortion Family Planning
Calling for a renewed commitment to the health of women following induced abortion, ICN, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), Department for International Development (DFID), and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has issued a joint consensus statement on the importance of family planning service provision to women when they are treated for postabortion complications. The statement commits the endorsing organisations to ensure that voluntary family planning counselling and services are included as an essential component of postabortion care in all settings, empower and serve postabortion women of all ages to prevent unintended pregnancies and further abortions, and provide information on optimal pregnancy spacing for those women who want a pregnancy. It lays out the rationale for offering family planning to women in such circumstances and reviews the intervention approaches that can be followed. Read the statement here.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 01:00
WHO Guidelines on Transforming and Scaling up Health Professional Education and Training
The World Health Organization has recently released the Guidelines on Transforming and Scaling up Health Professional Education and Training. ICN was part of the Core Guidelines Development Group that contributed to the development of these guidelines as well as accompanying policy briefs.
The guidelines deal with the complex issues for transforming health professional education through the presentation of key policy issues, summarizing available evidence and providing recommendations and a commentary, which includes guidance for implementation. The guidelines set out a vision of a transformation of education for the health professions, and offer recommendations on how best to achieve the goal of producing graduates responsive to the health needs of the populations they serve.
The guidelines, recommendations and accompanying policy briefs addressing Faculty Development, Accreditation of Health Professional Education Institutes, Regulation of Health Professions Education, Financing Education of Health Professionals and Monitoring and Evaluating the Education of Health Professionals can be found at: http://whoeducationguidelines.org/
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 01:00
End of the year 2013 Greetings
Judith Shamian - ICN President
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 01:00
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.
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.