WHO Facilitates the Meeting of National Taskforce for Strengthening Nursing and Midwifery Services in Iraq
Amman, Jordan, 4 March, 2014- In collaboration with the Iraqi Ministry of Health, The World Health Organization for Iraq organized a meeting for the National Taskforce for Strengthening Nursing and Midwifery Services in Iraq. The meeting took place in Amman, Jordan from 3 - 4 March 2014 and was attended by WHO Representative and Head of Mission Dr. Syed Jaffar Hussain, Senior Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Isam Namuq, Representatives from the EU, and participants from Ministries of Health and Ministries of Higher Education & Scientific Research from both Central and Kurdistan Governments, and The Iraqi Nursing Syndicate.
The meeting reviewed the current policies and strategies for strengthening Nursing and Midwifery services in Iraq and assessed the present situation from both the educational and service delivery perspectives. It also focused on identifying common objectives for a joint plan of action and applicable working mechanism for the Technical Taskforce.
"Iraqi nurses still need to have more sustainable opportunities for continuous education and continuous professional development in order to strengthen their capacities and recognize their expertise", said WHO Representative Dr. Syed Jaffar Hussain who added "The gap between education and practice continue to be a problem and should be narrowed by joint activities although KRG/Iraq has a number of initiatives to narrow the gap such as the mentorship programme".
Dr. Isam Namiq Senior Deputy Minister of Health in his discussion expressed support for the meeting and highlighted that this opportunity will set things right towards the implementation of activities that aim at developing nursing and midwifery professions in Iraq.
The Meeting participants agreed that health system needs to be reviewed in order to solve problems arising from certain issues such as number of registered nurses compared to other health professionals, recognizing expertise in work areas, and the possibility of introducing accreditation of health institutions which will encourage the application of nursing care, service and leadership standards, as well as the skill mix and acuity.
A set of agreed upon recommendations were made focusing on the continuous support the nurses and midwives in Iraq require from WHO to raise capacities and improve working condition. The recommendations also stressed the importance of the EU Project in creating the center of excellence in the country for education and capacity building of the nurses and midwives through a set of activities that aim at improving the overall performance, narrowing the gap between education and practice, and maintaining sustainability of the nursing and midwifery development.