Becton, Dickinson and Company helps establish Wellness Centres for health care workers in Africa
In 2006, Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) and the International Council of Nurses (ICN) announced a multi-year initiative to provide health and wellness services to healthcare providers working on the front lines in several African nations.
In sub-Saharan Africa, healthcare systems are experiencing a severe scarcity of healthcare workers, due to the HIV pandemic, migration and very difficult working conditions. Together, BD and ICN are working with national nurses associations in sub- Saharan Africa to help strengthen and revitalize these systems through wellness centers providing care for healthcare workers who, in turn, will be able to better care for their patients and communities. The ultimate goal is to provide funding and material necessary to sustain a healthy, motivated and productive healthcare work force, leading to a strengthened healthcare delivery system in sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that the program will reach 40,000 healthcare workers and their immediate families.
The first-ever Wellness Centre for Healthcare Workers was officially opened in September 2006 in Manzini, Swaziland, and is run by the Swaziland Nurses Association. Following Swaziland, wellness centers was also developed for healthcare providers in Uganda, Lesotho, Zambia and Malawi. Apart from funding, BD also included ICN in its awareness and advocacy efforts as part of BD’s Trusted Partners campaign, providing ICN with promotional materials, journal ads and general awareness materials. To increase the number of people reached, Wellness Centers in Swaziland, Lesotho and Zambia received mobile clinics to help provide reliable services to health workers at their place of work and in their communities.
In 2011, Becton, Dickinson and Company was the recipient of the ICN Partners in Development Award for its moral, financial and technical support for nurses leading the ICN Wellness Centres for Health Care Workers programme.