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New £170k project to boost emergency nursing provision in the Zambia amidst coronavirus pandemic

Zambia COVID funding primary

More than £170,000 will be used to boost trauma and emergency nursing in Zambia to help the country cope with the strain on services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Academics at Birmingham City University (UK) have been awarded £173,000 from a new government package announced today (Saturday 5 September), funding projects across the globe to support communities hit by the coronavirus.

The project will see nurse academics and researchers work alongside nurses, local healthcare workers and officials to increase provision for trauma  and emergency care within both Zambia’s hospitals and communities. 

Working alongside Zambia’s Ministry of Health, Lusaka College of Nursing and Midwifery, Ndola College of Nursing and other local partners, the scheme will provide the education and training to leave a legacy of growth in trauma and emergency nursing skills and expertise  across the country to help enhance service provision.

A series of Covid-19 workshops throughout the country will help the nursing workforce gain the knowledge needed to extend their clinical practice, and meet the changing health care needs as funding and resources are urgently diverted to help deal with the pressure of the pandemic.

Funded via the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Newton Fund, the scheme will help nurses deal with COVID-19 related health issues such, while continuing to respond to other communicable and non-communicable diseases through their augmented and strengthened competence, while maintaining nursing capacity within the healthcare service.

Professor Joy Notter at Birmingham City University, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has caused a strain on health services around the world, and this project will provide essential interventions for support in trauma and emergency nursing in Zambia.

Nurse academics from Birmingham City University have worked with the local communities and authorities to map the key short, medium and long-term healthcare needs for the country, which have been used to inform will be implemented and delivered.

As Senior lecturer and co-investigator, Chris Carter went on to say “We have been working with nurses, healthcare workers and authorities in Zambia for the last five years to help them to build up their critical care services, and this latest round of funding will allow us to build on that work and transfer it to support trauma and emergency nurses as they deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Work  has already begun, and the project team will work in partnership with the experts on the ground to make sure the project is collaborative,  sustainable and empowers the communities they work with.

The announcement forms part of the government’s £7.5m investment into research projects to address the impact of Covid-19 on the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Speaking about the announcement Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Defeating coronavirus is a truly global endeavour, which is why we’re backing Britain’s scientists and researchers to work with their international counterparts identify tech solutions to treat and combat this virus around the world.

“The research projects we are backing today will ensure that we equip some of the most vulnerable communities with the resources they need to tackle Covid-19 and build their long-term resilience to respond to future pandemics, making us all safer.”