BY : LEAD NURSE AFRICA EDITORS
The matter of healthcare is important issues that plague both developing and developed world. Corruption is big business for African governments where billions of shillings change hands in black market at expense of the majority poor citizen especially in healthcare systems. Year in year out, stakeholders in African health community have failed to articulate sound regional and continental agenda. The corrupt cartels and their agents run health sector and World Bank term it as quite corruption as it is embedded in every healthcare sector in Africa. Funds meant for public health intervention have been consistently embezzled with impunity. The consequences of our corrupt system have made many international organizations to withdraw their funds as a result of lack of confidence in its judicious utilization by our Local health institutions and organizations.
We helplessly depend on not only funds from the western Countries, but also their brains. This abnormally appears to have become normal, but we must understand that only African health professionals and other stakeholders who understand our unique social and environmental circumstances can design a workable strategy that can arrest the health crisis in the continent. We must also become more selfless and patriotic by ensuring we commit all available resources in building strong and healthy nation across the continent. We must strengthen our bond of Brotherhood to end wars and conflicts which are product of greed and sit-tight political syndrome.
In a nutshell, Africa must accept the responsibility of healing Africa with or without help from external sources.
Our actions and inactions have made our wealthy continent the poorest in the world. Poor health is the key manifestation of poverty.
WHERE DO NURSES STAND
Nurses in Africa stand the chance to take over the public health sector having been the silent majority for many years. As of today, many African nurses are highly trained but yester year’s subservient attitude of nurses that denied them leadership opportunities across the continent should not be allowed to continue if African nurses want to achieve their goals. While we have suffered from policy discrimination in terms of remunerations and good working condition, we can take advantage of the fact that majority of nurses have not been initiated into the corrupt leadership in the health sector and the society at large as very few nurses have penetrated the Leadership space. We are like the untapped resources. We can impose ourselves by demonstrating superior knowledge, better leadership, stronger unity and credible character.
Therefore, Nurses must start taking the following step in 2017
- Create an Internal platform for Leadership development through education and establishment
Of vibrant/credible internal politics.
- Inspire fraternity of Love within professional colleagues so that professional goals can be pursued with unity of purpose
- We must have an active continental association that will set standard of practice and education and pursue its implementation in different country. ( One of our biggest weakness of Africa as a continent is our reluctant to work together)
- Become frontline researchers in the clinical practice, health administration/management and preventive medicine
- Become frontline policy makers in health administration and management at local and international level
- Form key political groups that can actively align themselves with philosophies of major political parties and pursue political power as nurses in each African country ( learning from American nurses whose groups consistently play major role in republican and democratic elections and in the national election)
- Become eloquent in confronting corruption and injustice in the health sector and in the society.
- Destroy and eliminate any philosophy that supports mediocrity and Low self esteem among Nurses in many countries.
- Recognize and accept the paradigm shift in nursing practice and align ourselves to global best practice at all level even in the midst of scarce resources.
- Every Nurse must review his/her attitude and appearance to ensure he or she projects the profession positively at all time.
- Finally, every nurse must pursue excellent through advanced education and financial empowerment through entrepreneurship.
We can no longer pretend to be comfortable with the status quo. We must decide to move forward towards higher goals that can enable African nurses to reach the position of greatness, honor and fulfillment in their lives. Above all, the consumers of healthcare services need us to be at our best because the health indices in Africa will continue to be poor until nurses and nursing practice develop in the continent.
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