Friends of African Nursing
News August 2021
The pandemic has inevitably prevented any travel to Africa but this has not meant that we have entirely ignored our mission to deliver perioperative education to nurses on the continent. As many others have done, we turned to on-line education and held a one day conference in early June. The topic was Infection prevention in operating theatres. We had a stellar line up of speakers including the IFPN president, Mona Guckian Fisher and the incoming president Patrick Voight who was our closing speaker. We had four African nurse speakers including Rita Ayree who opened conference for us and our Canadian sister organisation, Friends of African Nursing Canada also undertook as session and chaired the afternoon. We had a splendid registration of 214 delegates from 19 countries, and conference evaluated very well. The sessions had been recorded and were available on catch-up for a month after the day.
Following the great success of the conference, trustees have decided that in the absence of travelling, we should hold another conference in December, on Safe Surgery. Plans are currently developing.
We arranged with colleagues in Ghana that we should run a two morning series of presentations in late July, which we felt went very well despite some inevitable internet trouble. As they were weekday mornings, it is not surprising that there were only 30-40 delegates in attendance. However, a successful experiment and one surely to be repeated?
Africa has had a low number of deaths due to Covid-19 compared with many other areas of the world. It has been fortunate to have well developed community health systems who mobilised quickly and had already been educated on social distancing and non-contact methods for Ebola outbreaks. The population is young generally and many who did catch the disease were asymptomatic. Also the governments locked down very quickly after the first few cases appeared. They do not in general have elder care homes as when working life finishes, many return to their rural villages. The prevalence continues to be low, but it is thought that it will be a factor for a long time to come.
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