UKZN Nursing Discipline hosts World Health Organization Delegation
The UKZN Discipline of Nursing hosted a World Health Organization (WHO) delegation following the Discipline being re-designated one of only four Nursing and Midwifery Collaborating Centres (WHOCC) in Africa.
Said Professor Ntombi Mtshali: ‘The Nursing and Midwifery Collaborating Centres (WHOCC) are recognised by WHO as Centres of Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery.’
The Discipline was first designated as a WHOCC for a period of four years in 1998 and has been re-designated several times, with the last re-designation in December 2016.
Professor Gugu Mchunu, the Academic Leader of Nursing, said: ‘We were very excited that our WHOCC will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2018.’
The Discipline is designated by WHO to form part of an international collaborative network carrying out activities in support of WHO’s programme at all levels.
The four-day technical site visit by the delegation to the UKZNWHOCC was part of the re-designation process.
The WHO delegation spent a day with UKZN Nursing staff and School of Nursing and Public Health Management with activities including formal presentations, discussions and guidance on how to align WHOCC activities with WHO’s strategic directions and priority agenda.
Among strategic directions were Universal Health Coverage, Sustainable Development Goals, Integrated People Centred Health Services, and WHO/AFRO Key Performance Indicators for Human Resources for Health and the WHO Human Resources for Health (HRH) Work Plan.
During the visit, the delegation had an opportunity to view the infrastructure used to support undergraduate and postgraduate students and this included spending time in the Clinical Skills Laboratory, interacting with staff and students in the facility.
They also visited the KwaZulu-Natal College of Nursing campus that is supported by the UKZN Nursing Discipline in the interest of strengthening the education and training of nurses and midwives, as well as the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, one of the facilities used as a clinical learning site for postgraduate nursing students.
The WHO delegates praised the work done by the WHOCC in strengthening nursing and midwifery in the African region and in South Africa specifically.
They highly appreciated the work being undertaken in countries such as Lesotho, Swaziland, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Tanzania where technical support is being given to help develop new nursing and midwifery programmes in line with needs in countries, and also training the trainers for effective implementation of the new programme which the WHOCC is engaged in as WHO’s Technical Arm.
A delegation spokesman said: ‘We now really appreciate the UKZNWHOCC and the capacity it has.’
Mtshali acknowledged that the Discipline had been able to achieve more with limited resources because of the vision and mission of the University as well as the community engagement drive and culture of the institution.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College, Professor Busi Ncama, expressed the College’s appreciation for being redesignated by WHO as a centre of excellence, and reiterated the importance of realising the vision and mission of the University through activities such as those of the WHOCC.
The WHO delegation included the Technical Officer, Human Resources for Health (HRH) Management of WHO’s AFRO Regional Office in Brazzaville, Dr Jennifer Nyoni; Technical Officer HRH Development of WHO’s Inter-Country Support Team for East and Southern Africa (IST/ESA) in Zimbabwe, Dr Magda Awases; Technical Officer, Service Delivery, Quality and Safety of WHO’s AFRO Regional Office in Brazzaville, Dr Nino Dayanghirang, and Health Systems Advisor of WHO’s South Africa Country Office, Dr Habbib Somanje.
Words: Nombuso Dlamini