The International Nurses Conference had a side track code named “Code Named Humanitarian Track” that took place in Kitgum Northern Uganda from 9th -12th May 2018. During this event, a number of diverse topics were addressed by different speakers and as a result it was possible to supplement health and technological knowledge with relevant social-economic and political inputs/presentations.
On its part, IEEE SIGHT was able to take charge of the humanitarian track during the conference and it was proud to carry out this task. Overall, the International Nurses Conference brought together a gathering of experts of a mixed nature and these included Nurses, Clinical officers, Pharmacists, Medical Laboratory technicians, civil servants and policy makers.
During the experience sharing expert session among the issues discussed was to “how to utilize humanitarian approaches in identifying and managing unforeseen epidemics in communities’’.
Within this session, the presenter began by informing the participants that epidemics are part of life and part of society and therefore we should at all times be prepared to face them when they strike. Otherwise, with less or no preparation, these epidemics are bound to affect communities more severely. He therefore emphasized the importance of preparedness so that when epidemics strike, communities are prepared for them and hence know what to do. Participants were urged to accept epidemics as part of life and therefore prepare to face them. In so doing, communities should be ready to appreciate and utilize humanitarian technologies and approaches, seek guidance from healthy workers and generally be touch with all types of experts so as to get the proper methods of responding to and managing epidemics.
Plenary talk on how the community, engineers and health workers could work together to save lives at birth
This session was used to inform participants on how it is important for engineers, health workers and the community players to put heads together in order to come-up with technological solutions to promote sustainable development.
To do this successfully the presenters observed that it is important for each stake-holder to unpack their expertise and then move on to integrate this expertise so that they come-up with all round solutions that could respond to community needs. For example how the NEOPENDA collaborated with IEEE-SIGHT to develop and utilize the Vital signs monitor technology to save lives at birth. This collaboration has brought together IEEE Engineers, Health workers from Ugandan Hospital, community members (mothers and fathers) and the Neopenda team.
With such collaboration solutions can be developed, utilized and therefore sustained for the benefit of humanity within communities in a long lasting manner.
In a nutshell, the various types of participants appreciated the different types of inputs made by the diverse collaborators towards developing a solution they look forward to benefit from such models of development both in the mid-term and long term aspects