The Tygerberg Hospital Neonatal Nurses Seminar hosted by Stellenbosch University, supported by NNASA and the Tygerberg Hospital Children’s Trust. 26 November 2019.

Focused delegates.

In the Cape, we are privileged to have cost-free annual seminars, meticulously planned by the respected, energetic and committed Arina Jenkins, the recipient of the Neonatal Nursing Excellence award at the NNASA Conference last year. Arina works in the NICU in the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital. For the last four years, she has arranged wonderful annual seminars which have each been attended by up to 300 neonatal nurses, doctors and allied health professionals from Public and Private Hospitals, clinics, colleges and universities as far afield as Worcester!  The focus of the seminars is to reduce neonatal deaths, reduce neonatal mortality and to better equip the nurses attending, to be advocates for neonates. This approach was chosen because Millennium Development Goal 4 (to reduce child mortality) was not successfully achieved regarding the reduction of neonatal mortality by the end of 2015. Information regarding the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages) was shared as the foundation for the seminar.

Great turnout.

This year the theme was ‘Ending preventable neonatal deaths’, focusing on infection which has been identified as the third major cause of neonatal deaths worldwide. Presenters included doctors and nurses with a very special final presentation by Arina, introducing mothers and their NICU graduates to the delegates.

The first presentation of the morning set the scene for the seminar, with information about the Sustainable Development Goal 3, focusing on the impact of neonatal sepsis and what action is needed to make an impact on this critical area in NICU care. The morning continued with presentations on the management of neonatal sepsis, necrotising enterocolitis, antibiotic resistance and the necessary actions required to prevent antibiotic resistance in the NICU, which gave the delegates much food for thought. Nurses’ presentations included infection surveillance and the prevention of outbreaks, and an inspiring group presentation by the nurses from a neonatal ward, who implemented steps to make a significant and continuing impact on the prevention of Central Line-associated Bloodstream Infections in the neonatal wards at Tygerberg Hospital.

After lunch we were educated about a new dressing that is a prevents bacteria from multiplying in a wound. Then we met a number of NICU graduates whose mothers touched our hearts, assuring us that our work is well worth it!

There was wonderful representation and support from our colleagues who supply the NICUs with equipment and support. Delegates were given a goodie bag, there were lucky draw prizes and generous food supplied for tea and lunch! We left after 15h00 feeling well stimulated, educated and challenged to continue with the satisfying and rewarding work that we do.

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