in the fight against tuberculosis
International Council of Nurses launches Phase 3 of TB project
From ICN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland
The International Council of Nurses (ICN), in collaboration with the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, today committed itself to establishing a strong evidence base to support best practice for quality patient care, strengthen health systems and save lives in the third phase (2013-2017) of its TB project.
With representatives from South Africa (including DENOSA’s Deputy General Secretary, Madithapo Masemola), India, China and Russia - countries with high TB burdens - as well as from ICN’s Wellness Centres for Health Care Workers in Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia, the launch included presentations on “Building local teams with professional and government networks”; “Collaborating to save lives”; “Increasing research capacity among nurses to improve patient care”; and “Maintaining a healthy workforce”.
Highlighting the importance of nurses’ contribution to reducing the TB burden, David C. Benton, Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses said, “Along with developments in diagnostics and treatment we need investment in care and research into effective care strategies in collaboration with the people who implement those strategies on the ground, which are most often nurses.”
“Nurses have practical ideas about how care can be improved,“ he continued, “but they need support to make changes and gather evidence so others can benefit from their experience. In addition we need to keep them safe which is why infection prevention and the health of health care workers is essential for every health system.”
Since 2005, the ICN TB Project has focused on strengthening the role of nurses in TB care, prevention and management and building nursing capacity in countries where TB poses a serious public health threat. The ICN TB Project builds the capacity of nurses and other health workers to provide safe, quality care to people affected by all forms of tuberculosis, from the moment they seek help to the completion of treatment. The project uses a Training of Trainers (TOT) methodology, designed specifically to encourage practice development. This means that experienced nurses working mainly in the TB and HIV field are trained to cascade information to nursing colleagues and other health workers with the purpose of making improvements to patient care delivery. Results have demonstrated the significant value of investing in the nursing workforce at every level. Thanks to the funding from the Lilly Foundation, ICN will be able to gather and publish the evidence to demonstrate the improvements which can be made in patient outcomes through investment in nursing interventions.
Dr. Evan Lee, head of the Lilly Multi-Drug Resistant-TB Partnership described nurses as vital to the Partnership’s strategy, which has training of health care providers as one of its priorities. “ICN’s innovative model of training nurses to pass knowledge on to their colleagues is a powerful way to ensure messages reach beyond the training venue and can be adapted to a variety of settings. We are proud to continue our relationship with ICN and this project.”
The ICN TB Project is supported by a United Way Worldwide grant made possible by the Lilly Foundation on behalf of the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership.
Tuberculosis is a serious public health, social and economic problem causing an estimated eight million cases worldwide each year. The disease burden is heaviest in developing countries, where 95% of the cases occur. Even in developed countries, TB is re-emerging as a public health concern. Nurses are the patient best allies in recognising TB symptoms, referring them for diagnosis and assuring treatment.