Celebrating 27 years of uniting nurses

DENOSA and ECSACON to host meeting of nursing bodies from East, Central and Southern Africa to discuss region’s standardized nursing specialist programmes on 18-20 August in Sandton 


Tuesday, 16 August 2022  

 PRETORIA – As the shortage of specialist nurses in the African continent is starting to become a headache for various countries, which has already seen South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs adding many nurse specialists onto the Scarce Skills List, nursing bodies and organisations in the East, Central and Southern African countries under the umbrella of East, Central and Southern African College of Nursing (ECSACON) will be holding a three-day meeting between 18 and 20 August in Sandton to mull over new proposed advanced nurse specialist programmes as means to cushion the region from the rising specialist nursing skills shortage that is worsened by migration of nurses to developed countries. 

The meeting will be held at Capital on the Park Hotel in Sandton and will commence at 09h00 on the first day (18 August 2022). The meeting will be attended by top representatives from nursing organisations in the region namely: National nursing associations (DENOSA will be representing South Africa as a national nursing association and an affiliate of ECSACON), nursing regulatory bodies (South African Nursing Council will represent South Africa), representative from the Department of Health, and leaders from the nursing’s academic fraternity.  

The World Bank report on Education and Labour Markets for nurses highlights that more than 80 percent of the population in low-income countries cannot access healthcare services because of the lack of sufficiently trained healthcare workers. Most countries face either absolute shortages (not enough healthcare workers) or relative shortages (skills imbalances), sometimes both. The report further goes on to highlight that a regional focus for investment may be necessary to create enough potential deals, reduce individual country and regulatory risks and seek to create regional standards for regulation. 

On 2 August 2022, the Minister of the South African Department of Home Affairs added various nurse specialists on the department’s Scarce Skills List together with more than 30 other healthcare skills, which will be the main determinant in considering work permits for non-South Africans applying for a work visa to come to South Africa. 

Many countries in the African continent, too, suffer the similar nurse specialist skills shortages, if not worse than SA. The ECSACON will table at the conference the various nurse specialist training programmes and their recognition by the regulatory bodies across the region, as well as pave the roadmap towards the accreditation of these by regulators.  

Members of the media are cordially invited to be part of this significant meeting for the East, Central and Southern African region.  

The meeting is scheduled to be addressed by the representative of the Department of Health, the President of ECSACON, and Council of International Neonatal Nurses Inc (COINN) among others. 

The shortage of specialist nurses in South Africa is already reaching catastrophic levels, due to poor focus on investment in nursing education in the country, hence it is opening its doors to specialist nurses from outside the country now. The transition of nursing education under the new nursing curriculum is also unearthing the under-investment in nursing education as institutions are accredited to admit for enrolment far lower numbers of students than under the previous legacy programme. The shortages of specialist nurses in areas like ICU, theatre, paediatric, midwifery, nursing education, and mental nursing are quite dire. 

Prior to the three-day meeting, the QUAD in South Africa, made up of DENOSA as a national nursing association, South African Nursing Council (SANC) and Forum of Nursing Deans of South Africa (FUNDISA) will meet on Wednesday 17 August in preparation for the ECSACON meeting (PS: the Chief Nursing Officer is part of the QUAD but won’t be part of this meeting due to other commitments).   

The details of the ECSACON meeting (18 – 20 August 2022) are as follows:

DATE: Thursday 18 August – Saturday 20 August 2022. 

TIME: Programme start at 09h00 on Day One. 

VENUE: Capital on the Park Hotel, Sandton. 


WhatsApp no: +255 767 963 049. 


Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA).   

For more information (for a South African perspective), contact:

Sibongiseni Delihlazo, DENOSA Spokesperson. 

Mobile: 072 584 4175  

Simon Hlungwani, DENOSA President.

Mobile: 082 328 9635 


Sibongiseni Delihlazo

Communication Manager

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