The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) has announced the winners of its new Nursing Innovation Grant Competition; Faith Nawagi of Uganda, and Stephanopoulos Osei of Ghana, both of whom are trained nurses. Each winner has been awarded USD 7,500 to help fund their research in the areas of creating guidelines for nurses’ management of COVID-19 patients and the implementation of nurse-led telerehabilitation services for stroke patients respectively.
This grant, made possible by the support of University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ) – Qatar’s only Canadian nursing school – was introduced to support nurse-led research projects.
Congratulating the winners on their success, Sultana Afdhal, CEO of WISH, said: “WISH champions empowering nurses to lead and actively contribute when it comes to the development of healthcare policies. It is unfortunate that nurses are underrepresented in research because we believe that, whilst their role and value encompasses more than frontline work, nurses’ close contact with patients puts them in an ideal position to identify and understand the gaps in current care delivery practices. It is therefore essential to support and encourage nurse-led research to create innovative solutions that address these gaps.”
Dr. Deborah White, Dean of UCQ said: “Encouraging nurses to engage in healthcare research is a necessity in the ever-changing healthcare industry. Nurse-led research has significant influence on current and future professional nursing practice resulting in improvements in nursing care health system processes. The grant has shone a spotlight on the incredible work that nurses do beyond the traditional frontline work. I am pleased to congratulate the winners for their outstanding research projects which have not only tackled challenges but have highlighted the leading role nurses play and must continue to play in bringing evidence to health care.”
Alongside Prof. Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, UK; Dr. Badriya Al-Lenjawi, Executive Director of Nursing Research at Hamad Medical Corporation, and Didi Thompson, Director of Research and Content at WISH, both Afdhal and Dr. White were on the judging panel that reviewed applications received from 14 different countries.
Nawagi, who is Chair of the Africa Regional Hub for Nursing Now Challenge in Uganda, will be leading a study that will establish the nursing care for COVID-19 inpatients and explore the experiences of the nurses who cared for them over the past two years in Uganda.
“Receiving this grant marks the start of my contribution to evidence generation, regarding the role of nursing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. Uganda has made remarkable progress in tackling COVID-19 since 2020. Contracting the virus is largely characterized by long periods of hospitalization, which involves nursing care. However, there is hardly any literature on the care provided to COVID-19 patients by nurses, or the experiences of nurses themselves, particularly in low-income settings like Uganda and Africa at large.” Nawagi commented.
The findings from this study will guide the Ugandan Ministry of Health in developing guidelines for the nursing management of COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, the findings will be a starting point to showcase Africa’s nursing response to COVID-19, and the approaches that work best in low-income settings.
A registered nurse in Ghana, Osei is leading on the project called Menewo that will offer nurse-led telerehabilitation support for patients recovering from strokes in Accra, Ghana. The aim of the six-month study is to assess the impact of nurse-led online neurorehabilitation support on the self-efficacy of patients with strokes. It also seeks to test the feasibility of tele-neurorehabilitation in Ghana and how nurses could take the lead role in this method of care.
Osei says: “The limited number of specialists and programs available in Ghana for neurorehabilitation makes access to such services very costly and challenging. Our project offers a cost-effective approach by allowing care to be delivered to selected patients virtually through video calls. We are sincerely grateful to WISH and UCQ for the grant as it will help us support patients with brain injury rehabilitation needs in Ghana and hopefully beyond.”
Through leadership courses, symposia and workshops in collaboration with local and global partners, WISH continues to deliver on its long-standing commitment to enabling nurses to become leaders. Several thought provoking discussions around this subject, including investment in nursing, the mental health of nurses, and building workforce resilience are planned to take place during the upcoming WISH summit on October 4-6, taking place under the banner of Healing the Future.