Gaborone — Former Minister of Health, Professor Shiela Tlou has advised the nursing leadership of Botswana to collaborate with other stakeholders in research and advocacy to produce better data that will promote excellence and influence change for more innovative cost-effective programmes.
Officiating during the second Botswana International Nursing Conference (BINC) on November 7 where she gave global perspectives on nursing leadership, Professor Tlou said the world had become technologically advanced and as such, the nurses should stay in touch with the world and acquire as much information as possible.
The meeting was held under the theme, Shaping the future of nursing in a resource-limited setting: educating, innovating, leadership and patient-centered care.
Professor Tlou said nurse leaders should continue to mentor, motivate and inspire present nurse leaders.
She said Botswana was faced with many challenges caused by limited resources in the health-care system therefore the nursing leaders should strive to strengthen community systems for service provision, social protection and ending stigma and discrimination in health settings.
For his part, Acting Minister of Health and Wellness, Mr Dikgang Makgalemele said the nurses were required to demonstrate vision, leadership and maturity because they played a pivotal role in the provision of health care services.
He said they were main players in primary health care and henceforth they were critically positioned to provide creative solutions for current and future global health challenges.
"But these are not new concepts to you as you face challenges on a daily basis that require you to be creative and innovative so as to improve health care outcomes and reduce costs to the health system," he said.
He further explained that in the National Development Plan (NDP) 11, Botswana had adopted the preventative health care approach and primary health care, of which nurses form the backbone, remains the key to the delivery and achievement of desired outcomes.
Mr Makgalemele said innovation gave insight and opens up opportunities as well as bring value to health care delivery.
"As a way of driving innovation in provision of health services and harnessing private sector development, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has forged closer working ties with key ministries and departments with a view to creating wealth and employment and in exploring ways of outsourcing some of our core and non-core functions to the private sector," he added.
He highlighted the setup of the Health Hub in 2008 as a strategic office with the mandate of facilitating development of the health sector by supporting public and private sector investment and collaboration in order to address health sector challenges and opportunities. He further noted that government remained committed to health sector innovation and entrepreneurship to deliver valuable and competitive solutions that supported economic growth and create new jobs.
"For nurses to be able to deliver first class patient care experience, they must be trained on leadership at early stages of their career.
The government is committed to empowering nurses with leadership skills that will motivate them to eagerly implement evidence-based practice and ultimately deliver better health care," Mr Makgalemele said.
The objective of Botswana International Nursing Conference is to harness professional development in the health sector, as well as share ideas and processes to promote quality health care services in Botswana.
The conference brings together international nurses to network with local nurses to share ideas and experiences on how to improve service delivery.
Source : BOPA