Kenya hosts 5th Global Health Nursing [GNPHN] conference

Nairobi, KENYA May 14, 2019 – Her Excellency the First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, today opened the 5th International Conference of the Global Network of Public Health Nursing in Nairobi County.
The conference whose theme is “The Contribution of Public Health Nursing to Achieving Sustainable Development Goal Number 3,” is being held in the country for the first time .
Kenyatta who was accompanied by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Sicily Kariuki said there is a need to consider improving healthcare systems by promoting a patient-centred model that focuses on the needs of individual in the continuum of specialist care.
“It will benefit all our healthcare systems if we invest in building a strong cadre of public health nurses,” she said.
On her part the CS for Health noted that Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which is one of H.E Uhuru Kenyatta regime big four development agenda, is in line with Sustainable Development Goal 3 and can only be attained through a well-motivated, highly skilled and fully engaged Health Workforce, whereby nurses are the backbone of the Health System.
She observed targeting the world including kenya is facing new global health challenges such as Haemorrhagic fevers and new viral strains, environmental pollution, natural disasters and a growing trend of chronic diseases.
“NCDs and injuries together have overtaken infectious and childhood diseases in terms of disease burden contributing to 30% of all deaths in the country and 52% of all hospital admissions in the country, a truly challenging situation to public health thus calling for cross sectoral interventions,” she said.
She acknowledged that Public Health Nurses are equipped to prevent disease and handle emerging diseases and therefore are strategic actors in determining the quality of health care services and the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Currently the country has a national Human Resources for Health ratio of 1:23,000 against a WHO prescribed ratio of 1:16,000, and more public health nurses are needed to meet the health needs of the population.
She called for targeted focus on thematic issues of concern for the nursing profession in particular  improvement of health care delivery through skills development, quality of care and patient safety.
The Lancet Global Health Report for 2018 indicates that quality health services has a potential to save up to 20,000 lives in the Country annually.
 She urged the Global Network of Public Health Nurses to step up regulation of education and practice and embrace patient centred approaches.
“Global Network of Public Health Nurses will be instrumental in enriching policy formulation; education standards and international best practices for public health nurses across the world,” she said