Over 700 nurses and midwives from 16 Africa countries meet in Nairobi

5 September 2016…Nairobi will from September 7-9, 2016 host the 12th ECSACON biennial conference, a platform for nursing healthcare professionals to share experiences, research findings and foster networks and linkages that can help to improve health outcomes across Africa.

The conference was officially opened on Wednesday, September 7 by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr Cleopas Mailu. There are over 700 delegates in attendance from 16 countries across Africa, as well as the US and UK.

ECSACON (the East, Central and Southern Africa College of Nursing) is a professional body for nurses and midwives established in 1990.

“The conference is a key opportunity to discuss ways of increasing universal health coverage and will bring together players from public sector, private sector and civil society for robust discussions,” said Susan Otieno, President of ECSACON. The primary theme for the event is ‘nurses and midwives for universal health coverage’.

Other themes that will be discussed at the two day conference include: Improving access to quality maternal, newborn and child health services; Sexual and reproductive health rights and gender-based violence; Innovations in health workforce development for the 21st Century; Innovations and excellence in providing evidence-based nursing and midwifery care across life span; Prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases including mental health and nutrition.

The conference is staged against the backdrop of the ongoing discussion on scaling up universal health coverage in Africa, including the role of private sector players can play in making this a reality.

The discussion has also roped in non-governmental organisations that deal with healthcare, such as Amref Health Africa, which has for the past six decades been at the forefront of improving health outcomes in marginalised communities.

Amref Health Africa is a key sponsor of the ECSACON conference and will provide insightful recommendations on how to scale up universal health coverage, including advocating for the integration of community health volunteers into the formal health system.

We will use the conference to make the case for community health volunteers,” said Dr Githinji Gitahi, Amref Health Africa Group CEO. “Governments across Africa need to allocate resources to create legal frameworks to define who community health volunteers are, their cadre, grading, payment and scope of work,” he added.

The East, Central and Southern Africa College of Nursing (ECSACON) is a professional body for nurses and midwives established in 1990 in the East, Central and Southern Africa region comprising 16 countries: Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Sudan and Rwanda. ECSACON speaks authoritatively on professional issues affecting nursing, midwifery practice and health in general and is anchored in the Human Resources Development and Capacity Building Programme of ECSA Health Community (ECSAHC).

The aim of ECSACON is to foster strategic Collaboration for Professional Excellence and its primary goal is to improve the quality of community health in the region through programmes geared towards strengthening nursing and midwifery education, practice, research, leadership and management.


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