Last Tuesday (27 February), International Development Minister Harriett Baldwin announced the Department for International Development (DFID) will support the training of nurses and midwives in developing countries, to improve the quality of care, keep their own patients healthy and save more lives.
The support comes as Nursing Now, a three-year global campaign run in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization, has been launched to improve health globally by raising the profile and status of nurses worldwide.
Speaking at the launch of Nursing Now at St. Thomas’ Hospital hosted by their Patron, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, in London today, International Development Minister Harriett Baldwin said:
Nurses make up nearly half of the world’s health workforce and their knowledge, skills and motivation play a crucial role in keeping developing countries healthy.
UK aid is supporting the Nursing Now campaign by helping nurses build better health systems in the world’s poorest countries which will improve the quality of care, keep their own patients healthy and save more lives. In Kenya for example, UK aid has already helped train more than 7,000 nurse midwives with vital skills, which in turn has helped to reduce deaths in childbirth by 10%.
Ms. Baldwin announced DFID will allocate £5million of the Stronger Health Partnerships for Stronger Health Systems programme to train nurses, in support the Nursing Now! campaign.
These partnerships between the UK and developing countries will help to develop the nursing and midwifery workforce to achieve Universal Health Coverage in the poorest countries and access to essential health services for all.
DFID has been a long-time supporter of working with developing countries to strengthen their health systems. At the centre of every health system are health workers and building the capacity of nurses is an important part of this.
UK aid is already helping tutors and lecturers at Kenya’s Medical training institutions to improve the quality of the training programmes for their nurses, so the next generation are better equipped with the right skills. One of the key learnings is the importance of leadership skills so those on the frontline feel supported to provide better quality care programmes for mothers and new-borns.