As Lily Kak from USAID said “now is the time.” What was she talking about? The time to really dialogue about the sick and fragile neonate. For years the focus has been on community care and safe birth attendants and the sick fragile infant in LMIC needs have been ignored. But no longer on April 16 and 17 the power players came together to just talk about the needs of these infants. A document is now in development that will be used by policy makers and program directors to help scale up the care specific to the hospitalized infant.
Most exciting for COINN is around workforce. ICN and ICM were present and we all came together to discuss a working relationship to address the work force. As neonatal nurses we are posed to bring our expertise to the table. We know what is needed and what education is important to care for these infants. In previous meeting governments stated we are tired of just education programs but want organizations to bring the real help.
Real help starts with competencies what does a neo nurse do and how does she demonstrate competencies. The competency work has already begun. We have a developed skills checklist specific to neonatal. We propose to bring the idea of certification by portfolio to the table.
To strengthen our work we have linked arms with IPA and a neonatologist out of Malawi and a doctor from Uganda who want to work on the medical side of their competencies and related documents.
This is a fast moving process as the people at the meeting stated, “as we wait a ponder another day goes by and another 7000 babies die Now is the time!” So stay tune as COINN moves neonatal nursing ahead!