Shortage of nurses hampers sustainable healthcare – CJ Koome

Shortage of nurses hampers sustainable healthcare - CJ Koome
Shortage of nurses hampers sustainable healthcare - CJ Koome

Africa-Press – Kenya. Chief Justice Martha Koome has underscored the critical role nurses play in the country.

Outlining their key response during the care and management of patients mostly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the CJ, however, raised concern over shortage of nurses in the country.

Koome said in her speech delivered on her behalf by Court of Appeal Judge Lady Justice Jamila Mohammed, during the 28th graduation of the Nairobi Hospital’s Cicely McDonell College of Health Sciences.

“Nurses are the frontline workers in the delivery of healthcare services. They played a critical role in the care and management of Covid-19 patients, when the novel coronavirus spread rapidly across all continents following an outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019,” she said.

Koome noted that the biggest health challenge facing Kenya and the world is to produce enough nurses to meet the ever-increasing demand for nursing services to a rapidly growing population.

Kenya faces an acute shortage of nurses with just 60,000 nurses serving a population of more thasn 50 million Kenyans.

This makes it difficult for Kenya to achieve sustainable healthcare and ensure healthy lives for all.

The world has an estimated 28 million nurses, who make up about 60 per cent of the global health sector professionals.

Even though nursing is the largest occupational group in the healthcare industry, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there is a global shortage of six million nursing professionals and the number is likely to rise to nine million by 2030.

Africa and Asia are the worst hit continents by this crisis and the situation is getting worse, as the population grows faster than the rate of increase in graduates from nursing care training facilities.

The graduation ceremony celebrated 119 students who have completed diploma and higher diploma courses in various nursing disciplines, including critical care, trauma and emergency, perioperative, neonatal and oncology nursing.

“The college plays an important role in our journey to transform the Nairobi Hospital into a sustainable centre of healthcare excellence for Kenya, Africa and the rest of the world,” the CEO James Nyamongo said.

Since 1956 when it started, the college has produced more than 2,800 nursing professionals, who offer nursing services in Kenya and many countries across the world.

The United Nations calls for increased funding for healthcare programs to reduce shortages and enhance retention of healthcare professionals, including nurses and midwives.

This will improve global progress towards the health Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

It urges developing countries to increase healthcare financing and recruitment, development, training and retention of health workforce.

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