Nursing and Midwifery
Nurses and midwives are the main providers of healthcare in the countries where ICAP works: they provide upwards of 90% of health services and are people’s point of access to the larger healthcare system. As the frontline defense against the leading causes of mortality, nurses often shoulder responsibility for the survival of communities. Yet, many countries face a nursing shortage. In 2011, there were only 103 nurses and midwives for every 100,000 people in Africa. This shortage of critical health workers contributes directly to poor health outcomes.
Central to its strategy of strengthening health systems, ICAP has supported the professional development of nurses and midwives in sub-Saharan Africa since 2006. ICAP piloted the Nurse Mentorship Training Program (NMTP) in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. It included a comprehensive curriculum to increase the knowledge, clinical skills and system skills nurses needed to play a larger role in HIV care. The program created an effective, replicable model of nurse mentorship, which was subsequently adopted by ICAP programs in other countries.
The success of the Nurse Mentorship Training Program both inspired and established a strong foundation for ICAP’s regional Nurse Capacity Building Program.