What would a hospital do while struggling with daily emergencies and the extraordinary one of Covid-19, without nurses? Very little. For this all over the world, nurses have been a symbol of dedication and care and the true backbone of health systems. In Africa, where healthcare is even more brittle and medical staff is often lacking, the role of the nurses is even more crucial.
Matilde Adelghi works now as a nurse at the Lui hospital in South Sudan, after her experience on the front line in Lombardy during the first wave Covid-19 of march 2020:” Being on the frontline of Covid has certainly helped me a lot, both for the managing and logistic point of view. My experience was useful for the organization of the isolation tent for suspected cases of Covid-19 and we have also developed a very dense training course of three days, which was particularly appreciated by nurses, where we dealt with the themes of dressing and undressing and the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The experience in Italy allowed me to transmit not only theoretical knowledge but also what I’ve learned in practice”.
Doctors with Africa CUAMM in South Sudan is also involved in staff training, supporting the Nursing and Midwifery School of Lui, a training that does not only mean investing in technical and specialist knowledge, but also convey motivation to students and nurses, working on their professional identity so that they feel proud of playing an important role within the health system.
“I believe it is essential to train nurses so they can be aware of their role – tells Matilde -. The most important aspect remains dialogue and exchange to tackle critical issues together, trying to encourage people to think about the solution to problems. The nurse has a privileged view on care – continues Matilde – because works alongside the patient and is exposed to all their needs that often go far beyond just health. If the nursing is of high quality, it can really make a difference”.
Today, on World Nurses Day, it is more important than ever to recognize the essential role that this professional figure plays in patient care and assistance in Italy as well as in Africa.