The Royal College of Nursing has launched an international partnership project with a nursing organisation in the African country of Zambia.
The move involves the Zambian Union of Nurses Organisation (ZUNO), a union and professional body for all categories of nurses and midwives who are employed in both the private and public sectors.
Through the collaboration, the RCN aims to build ZUNO’s capacity to influence nursing policy and improve nursing practice in Zambia.
“We’re thrilled to begin this exciting collaboration”
Thom Dauti Yung’ana
One of initial priorities will be implementing the World Health Organization’s safer surgery checklist at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, the largest in the Southern African country.
The project is being supported through the Health Partnership Scheme, which is funded by the UK Department for International Development and managed by the Tropical Health & Education Trust.
Janet Davies, the RCN’s director of nursing and service delivery, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the RCN and ZUNO to join forces for the benefit of nurses in both the UK and Zambia.
“Sharing our experiences and comparing the challenges facing nursing staff in our respective countries will be a fascinating process,” she said.
“The RCN International Committee is dedicated to building relationships with nursing organisations across the world, so we can work together for the benefit of the whole nursing profession,” added Ms Davies, who is set to become the college’s next chief executive in August.
A special event to mark the partnership was held recently at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka.
An RCN delegation was joined by ZUNO representatives, including its president Thom Dauti Yung’ana, as well as officials from the country’s health ministry.
Mr Yung’ana said: “Our partnership with the RCN has the potential to greatly advance nursing practice in Zambia and we’re thrilled to begin this exciting collaboration.”
The partnership was initially formalised through a memorandum of understanding in January 2014.
The Health Partnership Scheme currently supports over 100 projects across 20 countries in Africa and Asia.