THE ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ JOB OF BEING A NEONATAL NURSE

The provision of high-quality care to sick newborns presents challenges in any health system. Quality nursing care is a critical component of the care sick newborns need to survive their first days of life; and international guidelines suggest that even for babies who do not require intensive care, there should be one nurse for every 2 – 4 sick babies. In low resource settings, neonatal mortality is 10 times higher than in developed countries and therefore the need for high quality nursing is even greater. However, recent studies conducted in Nairobi show that one nurse takes care of between 20 – 40 newborns, at least 10 times above the UK average.In a recently published policy brief the KEMRI Wellcome Trust programme highlights the experience of nurses in Nairobi’s New Born Units.

Policy Brief: The Impossible Job of being a neonatal nurse

Related publication

  1. Mijovic et al (2016) What does the literature tell us about health workers’ experiences of task-shifting projects in sub-Saharan Africa? A systematic, qualitative review. Journal of Clinical Nursing Volume 25, pg. 2083–2100, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4973696/
  2. Nzinga et al (2019) Exploring the space for task shifting to support nursing on neonatal wards in Kenyan public hospitals. Human Resources for Health, Volume 17, Number 1. https://human-resources-health.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12960-019-0352-x
  3. Jepkosgei et al (2019) Maintaining Distance and Staying Immersed: Practical Ethics in an Under resourced New Born Unit. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethic pg. 1-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31092099
  4. McKnight et.al Collective strategies to reduce stress and their effect on nursing work: An ethnography of neonatal nursing in a low-income setting (Submitted for publication)

For more information, contact Dr. Jacinta Nzinga | Email: jnzinga@kemri-wellcome.org