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May 13, 2019

WISH Holds International Symposium To Empower Nursing Leaders From Across Asia, Africa, And The Middle East


The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF), recently welcomed representatives from countries across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to Doha for a two-day symposium. The gathering explored how nursing leaders can use healthcare data to improve working practices on a national level, and how to be part of transnational efforts to promote nurses and nursing.

Jim Campbell, Health Workforce Director, World Health Organization (WHO), and Dr. Nicola Ryley, Chief Nursing Officer, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), joined Sultana Afdhal, CEO, WISH, to open the special meeting at Qatar National Convention Centre.

High-level representation included Dr. Rowaida Al-Maaitah, former Senator and Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Jordan, and special advisor to HRH Princess Muna al-Hussein of Jordan; Professor Sheila Tlou, Co-chair of the global Nursing Now campaign and former Health Minister of Botswana; and Annette Kennedy, President of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Among the countries represented were Oman and Kuwait, while delegations from Yemen, Jordan, Pakistan, Nepal, Kenya, Ghana, Lesotho, and Sudan were also present.

Also in attendance were a number of senior Qatari nurses and representatives of Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health, who had the opportunity to share their experiences with fellow delegates, and to network with their regional counterparts, alongside meeting Nursing Now Qatar board members from HMC, QF member Sidra Medicine, Primary Health Care Corporation, Al-Ahli Hospital, and University of Calgary in Qatar.

The symposium program was developed by WISH in consultation with HMC and WHO. The first day of the symposium featured a series of practical workshops led by WHO technical staff that provided training to nursing leaders in how to gather and analyze data to better influence policy making at a national level.

The second day featured a presentation from the WISH 2018 report on nursing and universal health coverage, a discussion on the benefits of membership of the ICN, and an overview of the three-year Nursing Now campaign, which has been created to increase the profile and influence of nurses and midwives globally.

Ms. Kennedy said: “Everyone deserves the same quality of healthcare, and the publishing last year of the WISH report that explores the vital role that nurses play in delivering universal health coverage was the start of something great that can be built upon, but now it’s up to nursing leaders around the world to move things forward. Every day nurses are saving lives, and this meeting gives nurses the chance to think about how to promote this fact at a national and an international level.”

Local participant Enaam Al-Naemi, Assistant Executive Director of Nursing for Emergency Medicine at HMC, said: “This meeting has offered me a great opportunity to learn and to network with so many international counterparts. I’m pleased that we are able to share how nurses at HMC are being given opportunities to lead and, as a Qatari, I’m proud that such an important and empowering meeting as this one has been held in Qatar.”

For further information about WISH, please visit and @WISHQatar on social media.