Lesotho Ministry of Health signs support for ICN Wellness Centre at 10-year anniversary celebration
Geneva, Switzerland; Maseru, Lesotho – 28 November 2017 – The Ministry of Health (MoH) of Lesotho has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Lesotho Nurses Association (LNA) to financially support the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Wellness Centre for Health Care Workers and their Families in Lesotho. This took place the day before celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the ICN Wellness Centre in Lesotho.
The MoH has agreed to cover some of the operational expenses of the Wellness Centre, and will work to support the LNA to build a permanent structure for the Wellness Centre.
“ICN is delighted that the MoH has agreed to support this important project showing that it values the nurses of Lesotho and investing in their care. It is important for governments to invest in and care for health care workers so they can better care for the population and act as role models for their communities within the increasing demands of today’s health care environments,” said ICN President Annette Kennedy. “ICN is proud to work with the national nursing associations and governments to ensure our carers are looked after. The Wellness Centres are just one way we are doing this.”
Lesotho’s Minister of Health, The Honourable Nyapane Kaya, and Dr Semakaleng Phafoli, President of the Lesotho Nurses Association, sign Memorandum of Understanding.
Launched in 2007, following the success of the ICN Wellness Centre in Swaziland, the Lesotho Wellness Centre has been providing nursing care, medical treatment, social counselling, HIV and AIDS services, TB counselling and treatment, and trainings to health care workers and their immediate family members for the past ten years. Through its fixed location in Maseru and mobile clinic, the Lesotho Wellness Centre reaches thousands of health care workers and their families offering training opportunities including resilience for adolescents, grief and loss workshops, and behaviour change and communication skills.
The ICN Wellness Centre programme was conceived with the aim to support health care staff in countries affected by HIV/AIDS and TB in southern Africa so that they can continue to work. The concept enables all health care staff, including drivers and cleaners, and their families to access the Centre for support, testing and treatment, mainly for tuberculosis and HIV infection.
The Swedish Association of Health Professionals (Vårdförbundet) supports the project in Lesotho, which is run by the Lesotho Nurses Association. Financial support has also been received from the Swedish International Development Agency, Becton Dickinson, PEPFAR, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
The success of the Wellness Centre is largely credited to the dedication and passion for health care shown by the experienced nurse managers, counsellors and other health care professionals who are all committed to providing a better working environment to deliver professional and safe health care services.
The concept of the ICN Wellness Centres initiated in Swaziland and has now expanded into Malawi, Uganda and Zambia, as well as Lesotho.
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses and leading nursing internationally, ICN works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.