In 2011, only 54 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women in Cameroon received antiretroviral drugs (ARV) to prevent HIV transmission to their infants, and only seven percent had a CD4+ count done to determine their eligibility for antiretroviral therapy (ART) for their own health. Due in part to low ART coverage among pregnant women who are eligible for HIV treatment, Cameroon has an estimated rate of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of 24 percent. In response, the Government of Cameroon is taking action to rapidly improve the coverage and quality of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services in the country.
With over 4,000 nurses representing 120 countries in attendance, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) 25th Quadrennial Congress was held from May 18 – 23, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. During her keynote address, Rosemary Bryant, President of ICN, emphasized the central role that nurses play in increasing equity and access to health care. Referring to nurses as the ‘glue’ that holds primary care services together in many countries, Dr. Bryant urged the nursing profession to create innovative models with expanded scopes of practice for nurses to address health challenges, such as maternal mortality, HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) face increased risk of HIV infection. Effective HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs for MSM need to be tailored to the unique needs of this population. In Rwanda, cultural resistance to homosexuality and a widespread belief that homosexuality does not exist in the country have, until recently, hindered the integration of such tailored services into the country’s HIV program.
Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger has appointed Wafaa El-Sadr, ICAP Director, to the rank of University Professor, Columbia’s highest academic honor. This appointment recognizes Dr. El-Sadr’s remarkable scholarship and distinguished service over many years to Columbia and society as a whole.
On May 12—the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth—the international community will celebrate International Nurses Day to mark the contribution nurses make to society. This year’s theme, “Closing the Gap: the Millennium Development Goals: 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” highlights the crucial role of nurses in achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals by the target date of 2015.
Malawi faces a human resources health crisis, with a 65 percent vacancy rate for nursing and midwifery positions in the public sector and an ever increasing disease burden to manage. Between 2004 and 2010, nursing education institutions in Malawi increased the annual intake of student nurses and midwives by 22 percent, producing a high quantity of nurses and midwives, but also hindering the quality of education due to increased student to teacher ratios and limited teaching and learning opportunities within clinical settings. As a result, clinical mentors are urgently needed in order to provide supportive supervision to newly graduated nurses and midwives, and to ensure that they are adequately prepared for clinical practice.