Johnson and Johnson has partnered with Amref Health Africa to launch an oncology nursing training initiative in Kenya.

Cancer is a major public health issue and represents a significant burden of disease globally. In the past few years, Cancer prevalence in Kenya has continued to rise, posing a widespread staffing problem. Kenya has continued to face rising demand for Oncology personnel, especially nurses where the need is a minimum of 500 nurses yet there are only 36 qualified nurses. This has put extreme workforce pressure on cancer services, and a serious blow to patient care at a time when cases of cancer prognosis are on the rise.

Towards this, Johnson and Johnson Global Community Impact (JNJ GCI), under the leadership of the Ministry of the ministry of Health has partnered with Amref Health Africa to launch a training initiative to guide the development of new programmes, projects, and resources to meet the needs of Oncology nurses.

The Initiative will, over the next three years work to bridge the gap in the number of oncology nurses by supporting the training of a minimum of 200 higher diploma nurses that will be deployed to the ten oncology centers under development by the Ministry of Health. It will also provide a certificate short course training for four nurses per county and deploy a continuous professional development course to ensure continuous quality improvement in knowledge and cancer patient care.

Under the leadership of the National Cancer Control program, this initiative will also support the standardization of the curricula for oncology nursing to increase the number of institutions offering the training. All the trainings have the goal to empower nurses to provide high-quality oncology care through improved knowledge, increased confidence and updated nursing practice in line with global standards, for the ultimate benefit of cancer patients.

“Oncology nursing is a labor of love. Nurses who work in oncology are indispensable to their patients, not only providing physical care and patient education but also ministering to patients’ emotional, mental, social, and spiritual needs. Access to the needed resources, training and support is vital, and we are happy to commence efforts that address challenges that accompany the work of oncology nursing,” Dr. Ejersa Waqo, Head of Non-communicable disease Ministry of Health said.

Speaking on behalf of the Johnson and Johnson Global Community Impact Director for Sub-Sahara Africa Director, Mr. Anthony Gitau during the Oncology Nurses Kenya Chapter Annual Conference 2019 at Kisii University, Ms. Grace Humwa, the Oncology Product Manager at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson said that the initiative will build long-term capacity to treat and improve the prognosis of cancer patients in Kenya.

The initiative was established to advance innovative solutions and meet the current and future needs in oncology patient care.