A Critical Reflection of the Launch of the MCHNLA in South Africa

Wednesday, 1 August 2012: 8:50 AM

Christa Van der Walt, PhD, MEd, MSocSc, BArtSc, BEd, RN, RM
School of Nursing Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa, Potchefstroom, South Africa, South Africa

Learning Objective 1: Develop an understanding of the challenges in piloting the MCH Leadership Academy in South Africa

Learning Objective 2: Discuss the leadership journey of faculty involved in the MCH Leadership Academy in South Africa

The North-West University is the first university outside America where the Maternal-Child Nurse Leadership Academy for is launched in an attempt to reduce mother, child and infant mortality. This honour was received from the Honorary Society for Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) and Johnson & Johnson who not only funded the project but also provide support on a continous basis..

According to statistics released by the World Health Organisation in 2010, there was no discernible progress in the field of mother and infant mortality in Africa during the past decade. Prof Hester Klopper, previously the director of the School of Nursing at the Potchefstroom Campus and President Elect of STTI, took the lead with this initiative. STTI believes that nurses and midwives can make a positive contribution to the outcomes of mother, infant and child health care.  This programme is now going to be managed by the Schools of Nursing of NWU’s Potchefstroom and Mafikeng Campus as a pilot project in the North West Province. The aim of this paper is to present a critical reflection of the first year of the Leadership Academy and to discuss the challenges and critical success factors.  Lessons learned in adapting and contextualising the Leadership Academy as well as unique experiences in obtaining the buy-in of the stakeholders.