A highly important conference took place on August 31, 2023, under the title “Equity in Healthcare: Empowering nurses and midwives in communities – Integrating global and local expertise”.  The event served as a platform for discussions and explorations in the field of improving healthcare quality, with a focus on the essential role of nurses and midwives in ensuring equitable healthcare.

Officials and representatives from national, regional, and local health authorities, healthcare institution directors, managers of healthcare facilities, as well as representatives from the National Council of Nurses, Midwives, and Medical Assistants attended the event.

The conference began with an online address from the Minister of Health, Prof. Univ. Dr. Alexandru Rafila, who reiterated support for the nursing and midwifery profession by emphasizing the importance of responsibility in medical practice, along with the need to enhance education and professional training quality.

The topics discussed included the importance of international expertise in the professional development of nurses and midwives, as well as innovative approaches to improve the quality of healthcare in communities. The conference agenda featured a high-level opening panel and two thematic sessions.

The first thematic session focused on the importance of international perspectives, expertise and experience in promoting the work of nurses and midwives.

The representatives from the WHO Regional Office for Europe led session 1: International Perspectives. The session included the Chief Nurse from Israel from the WHO Collaborating Centre for Leadership and Governance in Nursing and Midwifery; the social and health policies advisor to Princess Muna al Hussein; the Secretary-General of the Jordan Nursing Council and the Director of the Secretariat of the South-Eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN).

Dr Dasic structured her intervention around three points: SEEHN overview, recent examples of the SEEHN implemented projects focused on nursing and  investment in the mental health and well-being of nurses and midwives as they play the essential role in the community; they represent the backbone of a healthcare system and are over 50% of the healthcare workforce. Therefore, the establishment of the SEEHN RHDC for Nursing and Midwifery hosted by the Order of Nurses and Midwifes from Romania is the big step ahead to advance and empower the nursing and midwifery at the SEE regional level.

The second session addressed essential topics for improving the quality of healthcare in the community. Themes explored included health prevention and promotion, understanding social and behavioural perspectives in managing anti-vaccine attitudes, enhancing the personal resilience and mental health of healthcare professionals, and identifying innovative approaches in maternal, sexual, and reproductive health.

This conference marked a significant moment in promoting collaboration and knowledge exchange among healthcare experts with the aim of developing innovative solutions to improve healthcare regionally and globally.

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