Nigeria to host 2017 West African Nurses Conference

Gloria Essien, Abuja

The Federal Government of Nigeria has concluded plans to host the 2017 West African College of Nursing (WACN) 14th Biennial General Meeting (BGM), 23rd Scientific Session and 37th Council Meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to take place in the nation capital Abuja from 1st to 8th July, 2017 with the theme: ‘Emerging Health Emergencies: Community and Health Workforce Response in the Sub-region.

This was announced by the Hon. Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole in Abuja.

Giving a brief background of the WACN, the Minister said that the college is an agency of the West African Health Organization with headquarters in Burkina Faso.

He explained that the College was officially inaugurated in Banjul, the Gambia in April 1981 with the aim to promote excellence in nursing education and maintain the standard of nursing within the Sub-region, contribute to the improvement of health care within the West African Sub-region as well as promote and encourage research in the field of nursing.

He pointed out that the membership of the WACN comprises Anglo and Franco-phone countries in West Africa namely: Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra-Leone and recently Benin Republic who joined in 2003 and hosted the Biennial General Meeting in 2009.

Adewole said that member countries of the college host the Biennial General Meetings and Scientific Conference on rotational basis, adding that the last BGM was hosted by Ghana in 2015. Nigeria last hosted the BGM in March 2005. He added.

He expressed optimism that the BGM and Scientific Conferences offer opportunities for Nurses and Midwives from the Sub-region to share experience in nursing education and practice.

“The Conference seeks to address among other issues to include emerging impact of Non-Communicable Diseases, emerging health emergencies in Infant and young child feeding and protection of Healthcare Workers during conflict and insurgencies” he noted.

Nnenna.O