Nursing Education Partnership Initiative Launched in Five Countries

The Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI) was launched for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, and Zambia during an inaugural meeting held on November 14-17 in Lilongwe, Malawi. NEPI is the US Government’s unified program to address the underproduction of nursing professionals in developing countries. The five African countries will implement quality nursing and midwifery education at scale in selected schools.

NEPI is led by the meeting participantsUS President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Prominent US government institutions and partners include the US Agency for International Development, Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator, the US Department of Health and Human Services, the US Department of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs, and CapacityPlus.

CapacityPlus will provide technical assistance through conducting school assessments and costing studies in partnership with local nursing and midwifery education institutions, local ministries of health, and higher education.

At the meeting, CapacityPlus’s Mesrak Belatchew presented CapacityPlus’s vast experience with health workforce development, including information gathered during a recent NEPI consensus workshop in the DRC. This knowledge will contribute to the evidence base for programming nursing and midwifery education in the DRC and informing policy and decision-makers on how much it will cost schools to increase the quality and capacity of health workforce production. 

The meeting was hosted by Columbia University/ICAP Nurse Capacity Initiative (INCI), a NEPI implementing partner. INCI played a key role in organizing the meeting, along with HRSA and the Malawi Ministry of Health. Attendees included 150 participants from the five NEPI countries along with representatives from Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, and the United States. The five NEPI country representatives were enthusiastic about realizing the NEPI goals and reaffirmed their commitment.

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Photo courtesy of Mesrak Belatchew (meeting participants).

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